Are you turning age 65 and looking for Medicare plan options including Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and drug plans? There are plenty choices in how you get your Medicare coverage. We will provide you with an easy 3 Step Guide to help you navigate through these important decisions.
Step 1: Sign up for Medicare through Social Security:
If you're over 65 (or turning 65 in the next 3 months) and not already getting benefits from Social Security, you need to sign up to get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). You won't get Medicare automatically. If you already get benefits from Social Security,you'll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you're first eligible and don't need to sign up. Medicare will send you a "Welcome to Medicare" packet 3 months before you turn 65.
What are the Part A & B Sign-up Periods?
When you're first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.
If you're eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:
Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
Includes the month you turn 65
Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty.You'll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B and could have a gap in your health coverage. You can also sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year if you didn't sign up when you were first eligible. Your Medicare coverage will start on July 1.
When Will My Coverage Start?
If you sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) during the first 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your coverage starts the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the prior month.
Step 2: Choose your Medicare Coverage:
There are 2 Main Ways to get Medicare Coverage:
Original Medicare – Includes Part A and Part B. You can use any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare, anywhere in the U.S.
If you want drug coverage, you can join a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) .
Medicare Advantage – An "all in one" alternative to Original Medicare. These "bundled" plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D. Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn't cover – like vision, hearing, dental, and more.
Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
In most cases, you'll need to use doctors who are in the plan's network.
Step 3: Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan:
When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan?:
The best time to buy a Medigap policy is the 6-month Open Enrollment Period that starts the first day of the month you're 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. For example, if you turn 65 and are enrolled in Part B in June, the best time for you to buy a Medigap policy is from June to November. You generally will get better prices and more choices among policies. During that time you can buy any Medigap policy sold in your state, even if you have health problems
After this enrollment period, your option to buy a Medigap policy may be limited and it may cost more. Some states have additional open enrollment periods.
What Is Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?:
Medigap is Medicare Supplement Insurance that helps fill "gaps" in Original Medicare and is sold by private companies. Original Medicare pays for much, but not all, of the cost for covered health care services and supplies. A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy can help pay some of the remaining health care costs, like:
Some Medigap policies also cover services that Original Medicare doesn't cover, like medical care when you travel outside the U.S. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medigap policy, here's what happens:
Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs.
Then, your Medigap policy pays its share.
Things to know about Medigap policies:
You must have Medicare Part A and Part B.
A Medigap policy is different from a Medicare Advantage Plan. Those plans are ways to get Medicare benefits, while a Medigap policy only supplements your Original Medicare benefits.
You pay the private insurance company a monthly premium for your Medigap policy. You pay this monthly premium in addition to the monthly Part B premium that you pay to Medicare.
I Need Help Enrolling and have Questions on Medicare Supplement Plan Options?
There are several ways you can get help choosing and enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Plan:
Call us at 1-800-619-8959 and let certified Medicare experts guide you through the selection and enrollment process over the phone
Use the Medicare Plan Finder to find and compare Medicare Supplement plans in our area
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Offer the most affordable and comprehensive insurance solutions regardless of household budget
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Our mission at Direct Insurance Solutions is to get you the coverage you need, the services you want, and the respect you deserve, regardless of your budget.
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