When you hit the spry age of 65, celebrations may be different than when you were in your 20s and 30s. One thing to celebrate now is you are fully qualified for Medicare coverage. Yippee! Those years of paying Medicare tax have finally paid off. But as you know, nothing with healthcare or the government is ever simple, and in this case, you get to deal with both! No worries. We’re here to help by being your health insurance life preserver! Here are some things you need to know when it’s time to sign up for Medicare.
- You’ll have to invest some time learning the system. Probably a lot of time, honestly. With Parts A, B, C, D and Q (only kidding about Q but A-D are on the table), there’s a lot to learn. Visit Medicare.gov to read up on your coverage choices. They give you three steps to walk through decisions, and being informed is the safest way to ensure you make the right choices.
- They won’t call you; you’ll have to call them. It’s up to you to jump in and register. Medicare won’t send a friendly face to your door reminding you that you’re eligible for coverage. Once you’ve done your research, have no other coverage and hit 65, log on and sign up!
- You shouldn’t wait. The age of 65 is the true magic number. Don’t wait until you’re older to enroll or you could face permanent late penalties. (Even if you don’t know what that means, you can tell it won’t be good.) If you don’t have insurance from an employer, once you hit 65, be sure to enroll within eight months of ceasing work.
- You’re guaranteed coverage. No pre-existing conditions or exclusions apply here. When you meet the qualification to apply for Medicare, you can’t be denied coverage or charged higher rates because of your health conditions.
- It’s not free. While Medicare is a pretty good set up for health care coverage, it isn’t free of charge. You will still be required to pay premiums and copays for most services rendered.
- It won’t cover everything. While Medicare does cover a wide variety of procedures and medications, there are things that aren’t covered. This is where your learning and research pay off again. Know the benefits you are signing up for.
- The coverage gaps. You’ll likely find gaps in coverage for some procedures and equipment. There a variety of private plans that offer Medicare gap insurance to help cover costs.
- There’s no family plan. Medicare will cover you and only you – you can’t add dependents. It’s exclusively available to those over 65 or who are on disability.
- There is unbiased help available. If you need help choosing your Medicare plan, Errand Works is here to help you. We offer a service to our clients through which we evaluate your needs, research available plans and provide you with a list of plans recommended for you. Errand Works receives no commission for this service and is not influenced by any providers. We offer this program to help seniors in our community make wise choices regarding their health care.
To learn more about our Health Insurance Life Preserver program, contact us. We would love to help you feel informed and positive about making your Medicare decisions.