8 Things You Need To Know Before Applying For Medicare

8 Things You Need To Know Before Applying For Medicare

Are you getting ready to apply for Medicare? Then, you’ve come to the right place! 

Applying for Medicare is a big undertaking, and having the correct information at hand will help guide your decisions. 

In this blog post, we’ll cover eight key points you need to consider before beginning the application process. 

From understanding the types of enrollment to familiarizing yourself with plan benefits — there’s a lot to know! 

By tackling each topic step-by-step, you can ensure that your experience applying for Medicare is straightforward and stress-free. 

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

What is Medicare?

Medicare is a government-supported health insurance program primarily for individuals who are 65 or older.

This program is designed to provide coverage for medical expenses, such as hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and more. 

Medicare is funded through a combination of premiums, taxes, and government funding. 

It’s important to note that different types of Medicare plans are available, and individuals may choose to enroll in a plan that best meets their needs. 

Medicare can be complex, but with the right information and resources, it can help provide important healthcare support for those who need it.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare typically covers a wide range of medical needs, including hospital stays, doctor visits, necessary medical tests and procedures, and drug coverage.

While Medicare does not cover every medical expense or the cost of most long-term care, it can offer financial support for many of the medical services seniors require. 

Whether you’re dealing with a chronic illness or need routine checkups, Medicare can be an important resource in helping to manage your healthcare costs. 

It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different Medicare plans and options to ensure you get the coverage that best meets your unique healthcare needs.

What Is The Difference Between Medicare Part A and Part B?

Understanding the ins and outs of Medicare can be overwhelming, especially when deciphering the difference between Part A and Part B. 

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care services. This is premium-free but has some co-pays and deductibles. 

On the other hand, Part B covers doctor’s visits, outpatient care, preventative services, tests, and some medical equipment. Part B is not free and requires a monthly premium. 

While both parts of Medicare can be important, they offer different types of coverage based on your individual healthcare needs. 

In the event that you require specific services not included in Medicare Part A or Part B, you will be responsible for covering the expenses, unless:

  • You possess alternative insurance coverage (or Medicaid) that caters to those costs.
  • You are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes coverage for such services.

Knowing which part you have and how it works can help you make better healthcare choices and help ensure you receive the appropriate care and services.

What Is A Medicare Advantage Plan?

You may have heard of the Medicare Advantage Plan. So, what is it? 

A Medicare Advantage Plan (such as an HMO or PPO) is another way to get your Medicare coverage. Under this plan you get Part C which is a combination of Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance) and usually Part D (prescription drug coverage) coverage from the plan. It’s not the Original Medicare, rather this is offered by private companies approved by Medicare.

These benefits can vary depending on the specific plan you choose. Still, they may include vision, dental, hearing, and even fitness benefits. You may pay a monthly premium for the Medicare Advantage Plan. Each plan may also charge different out-of-pocket costs and have different rules for how you get services. 

It’s important to research and compare plans before choosing one, but Medicare Advantage Plus may be an option for those looking for comprehensive healthcare coverage.

applying for medicare

What Is A Medicare Supplement?

In a nutshell, it’s an insurance policy that helps fill the gaps left by Original Medicare coverage. 

It can help with deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance that can add up if you’re not careful. 

You get to choose from a variety of plans, each with their own unique benefits and costs. 

But before you sign on the dotted line, ensure you fully understand what you’re getting into and if it’s worth the extra expense. 

After all, you don’t want to be left with more bills than you can handle for coverage you may not need.

It’s important to note that if you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can’t use or be sold a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy. 

Who Qualifies For Medicare?

Medicare is a popular health insurance program that provides coverage to millions of Americans. 

But who actually qualifies for it? Generally speaking, anyone 65 years or older and a legal U.S. resident can enroll in Medicare. 

However, younger people with certain disabilities or conditions, like Lou Gehrig’s disease or end-stage renal disease, may also be eligible. 

In fact, even if you’re still working and have health coverage through your employer, you can still sign up for Medicare as long as you meet the age or disability requirements. 

So if you’re approaching retirement age or have a qualifying medical condition, be sure to explore your Medicare options to see if it’s the right choice for you.

How Do I Apply For Medicare?

Applying for Medicare is actually a fairly straightforward process. 

If you are receiving Social Security benefits in the month you turn age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare. 

However, if you are not yet receiving Social Security retirement benefits in the month you turn age 65, you’ll want to sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period. Your Initial Enrollment Period starts in the 7-month period that begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. 

To learn more about your Initial Enrollment Period and when you are eligible to sign up for Medicare, visit the Social Security Administration’s website to use this handy calculator.

You can apply online through the Social Security Administration’s website or by calling their toll-free number. 

There are a few different parts of Medicare to consider, so do your research and choose the options that are right for you. 

It’s important to note that there are also certain life events, such as retiring from work, that may allow you to enroll in Medicare outside of your Initial Enrollment Period. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Medicare experts for guidance if you’re feeling stuck or confused – they’re here to help!

What Are The Different Types Of Medicare Enrollment?

Several types of Medicare enrollment allow for a tailored approach to each individual’s healthcare needs. 

The most common type of enrollment is the “Initial Enrollment Period”, which begins three months before a person’s 65th birthday and lasts for seven months. 

Another option is the “Annual Enrollment Period”, which runs from October 15th to December 7th each year and allows individuals to switch or modify their coverage. 

For those who miss the initial enrollment period, there is also a “General Enrollment Period” that occurs from January 1st to March 31st. Signing up during this period will likely include penalties. 

If you are older than 65 and you’ve been covered by an employer group health plan, you can sign up or add Part B during what’s called the “Special Enrollment Period” as long as you meet certain qualifications.

With each type of enrollment comes different rules and requirements, so it’s essential to do thorough research and consult a healthcare professional to ensure you’re getting the best coverage possible.

If you need help navigating the complex world of Medicare, contact the professionals at Intelliplan Financial today! Schedule a complimentary consultation here.

Disclosure: Financial Planning and Advisory Services are offered through Prosperity Capital Advisors (“PCA”), an SEC-registered investment adviser.  Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Intelliplan Financial and PCA are separate, non-affiliated entities. PCA does not provide tax or legal advice. Insurance services offered through Intelliplan Financial are not affiliated with PCA.


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Financial Planning and Advisory Services are offered through Prosperity Capital Advisors (“PCA”), an SEC registered investment adviser.  Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. Intelliplan Financial and PCA are separate, non-affiliated entities. PCA does not provide tax or legal advice.

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