What is Medicare?
Medicare is a government-administered health insurance plan that covers a portion of the costs associated with health care for Americans over the age of 65. It has been around since 1966 and is currently available for people enrolled in Social Security. When you turn 65, you can apply for Medicare, and your coverage will be retroactive for the three months before the date you applied. Once enrolled, you’ll be able to receive medicare benefits for an exam to determine your eligibility for coverage. You’ll receive a letter from Medicare about eight weeks later that will let you know if you’ve been approved.
Why Choose Medicare Advantage
There are many Medicare health plans out there covered by different insurance providers. Medicare Advantage plans are a form of Original Medicare administered by a private insurance company and government CMS. Original Medicare is available to all applicants, while Medicare Advantage plans are only available to those who qualify. If you have a high-risk medical condition, have a disability, or are over 85, you’ll likely be ineligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan will provide you with additional coverage and peace of mind. You’ll be entitled to the same level of coverage as with Original Medicare, but you’ll also have access to other benefits and services.
Tips For Choosing a Medicare Health Plan
Here are a few tips for choosing a Medicare health plan:
- Choose the plan that has the best coverage at a price you can afford.
- Check if your doctor is in the network before signing up for a particular plan.
- Look into whether you are eligible for a Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR).
- Understand how your specific plan works and how to use it.
- Find out how long you have to act before your coverage begins.
How To Prepare to Enroll
If you’ve been putting off applying for Medicare, now is the time to start preparing, as there are some essential things to keep in mind. Below are some tips on how to prepare to enroll:
1. Know Your Options for Retaining Health Insurance.
As you’re preparing to enroll in Medicare, you’ll want to keep in mind what options you have for retaining your health insurance. You can use a few options to keep your coverage, including COBRA, a Medicare health plan, or a Medigap plan. If you have COBRA coverage or your employer offers it, you can use COBRA to retain your health insurance coverage. You’ll have to pay the total price of the insurance coverage, but it’s a great way to ensure that you don’t lose your coverage. If you have a Medicare health plan, you may be able to extend your coverage for an extra period to ensure that you don’t lose coverage.
2. Apply for Medicare as Soon as You’re Eligible.
One of the best ways to prepare to sign up for Medicare is to apply as soon as you’re eligible. The earlier you apply, the more time you’ll have to adjust and get used to your new coverage. You’ll also be able to choose a plan that makes the most sense for you and your family. It’s a good idea to apply for Medicare as soon as you’re eligible because coverage is retroactive for three months before the date you applied. This means that you’ll be able to use your benefits retroactively from the date you applied if you need to visit the doctor or go to the hospital.
3. Check Out Your Available Options for Retaining Coverage.
If you’ve applied for Medicare and are ready to sign up for coverage, now is the time to research and determine the available plans. You can visit the official government website to apply and compare programs. You can also speak with a representative at the government website to get extra assistance with your plan selection. This is a good idea if you’ve got a lot on your plate and want to make sure you choose the best plan for you. Many people are surprised that they can extend their coverage for a small fee. This is particularly helpful if you have a pre-existing condition and need coverage you know you can rely on.
4. Ask Your Network for Recommendations.
Another good way to find the right plan is to ask your network for recommendations. This includes your friends, family, and people in your contacts and connections. Ask around to see what people recommend and what they’ve heard is a good plan. You can also ask your doctor what program they recommend. Your doctor will likely be familiar with the different programs and have an opinion on which one would be best for you.
5. Research the Costs of Various Plans.
There is no one-size-fits-all health insurance plan. Before settling on a specific program, you should thoroughly research your options and compare costs. Look at what each plan covers and how much each one costs. Decide which is best for you, your family, and your budget.
6. Decide on What’s Important to You and Plan Accordingly.
If you don’t have much time left until you become Medicare-eligible, you may be tempted to switch to a cheaper plan that doesn’t offer as many benefits. Before you decide this, you should carefully consider what is important to you and ensure that you have a program that meets your needs. If you have a pre-existing condition or are at risk of developing a costly medical condition soon, you may need a more comprehensive health plan. If you are generally healthy and don’t think you’ll need additional coverage, you may be able to save money by choosing a less expensive plan.
If you are an adult under age 65 and haven’t yet reached eligibility, now is the time to start planning so that your medical insurance stays protected. Once you reach eligibility, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or traditional Medicare and extend your current coverage. There are several ways to prepare for Medicare, so you don’t lose your health insurance coverage. You can enroll in Medicare when you become eligible, ask your network for recommendations, or research the costs of various plans. When you make these preparations, you can be sure that you will have the health insurance coverage you need for the rest of your life.