Although Medicare eligibility is automatic when you turn 65, your enrollment in the program isn’t. There’s a three-month window in which you must actively enroll to receive the medical benefits that are available to you.
This is a point of confusion for many seniors who always planned on taking advantage of Medicare, but never considered that the actual process would be so complicated. With a limited enrollment period, varying applications, and a number of different Medicare types, just getting into the system can seem like an overwhelming endeavor. Here are some tips for successfully enrolling to receive your benefits.
Enroll in the Medicare system.
The first step in securing a position in the Medicare system is to formally request a spot. Unless you’re already receiving benefits through Social Security, you’ll need to send in an application during the established enrollment period, which usually runs between October 15th and December 7th. Your application will be processed by the Social Security office to confirm your eligibility and get you set up. At first, you’ll need to sign up for Parts A and B which are considered hospital and medical coverage, respectively. Talk to your doctor to determine how your current medical attention will change when your coverage switches to Medicare.
Select a coverage option.
For seniors who don’t like complicated programs, it would be better if Medicare only offered one option that was automatically administered.
To receive the appropriate coverage, however, you’ll have to put up with a little complexity. When choosing your coverage option, you should talk to a local office to receive a “Welcome to Medicare” packet. This information should shed some light on the confusion. In short, Original Medicare consists of Part A and B insurance, which is accepted at all hospitals and healthcare centers that accept Medicare coverage. Part D coverage ensures that your prescription medications are covered.
Opt for a Medicare Advantage plan.
The highly sought after Part C portion of Medicare is also known as Medicare Advantage. With this coverage, you can receive the standard coverage through Part and B but with insurance provided by a private company, rather than the Medicare system. You won’t have to mess with Part D when you have Medicare Advantage since it covers prescription drugs. Seniors who desire more coverage than what’s offered through Original Medicare should opt for Part C. Medicare Advantage plans such as those offered by other insurance providers include extra insurance coverage for dental and vision as well as various wellness programs.
Continue fitting coverage to meet your needs.
The Medicare system is designed to meet the healthcare needs of millions of seniors. This coverage is intentionally divided into multiple parts to allow seniors the opportunity to choose which components are necessary for their unique health situation. Imagine the Medicare system like a giant smorgasbord of coverages from which you can choose. As your health situation changes, you’ll need to continue revisiting this buffet in order to choose the right coverage. One year, the basic features may be enough to deal with routine illnesses and injuries. However, you may need to switch to something more robust to deal with a developing issue.
Medicare is in place to make it easier to deal with health issues that accompany you into your golden years. In order to receive these benefits, you have to enroll within the allotted time frame and choose the coverage options best suited to meet your needs. Follow these clear steps to successfully join the over 44 million seniors currently enrolled in the system.