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Must-Know Medicare Tips

When To Enroll

-Initial Enrollment: The first time you can enroll for Medicare is called the Initial Enrollment Period. This is a 7-month period that starts 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after it. If you enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up for a plan without answering any questions related to your health.

-General Enrollment Period: If you don’t sign up before you turn 65 there is a General Enrollment Period in which you can enroll between January 1 and March 31 every year.

-Special Enrollment Period: This is only available to individuals that meet certain requirements.

Basic Medicare Part A and Part B

-Medicare Part A: This helps cover your inpatient care in hospitals. Medicare Part A will cover your medical costs when you are already sick. This is inclusive of coverage in critical access hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, and home health care. However, it does not cover long-term care.

-Medicare Part B: This covers preventative care. This could be equated to medical insurance. Medicare part B covers the costs before you fall ill or get injured. Routine check-ups with your doctor are the kinds of expenses covered by Part B.

-Supplemental Medicare Insurance: Medicare only covers 80% of the cost for Medicare-covered services. For instance, if you are hospitalized and receive a bill of $10,000 Medicare will only cover 80%, leaving you with the remaining $2,000 bill.

Types Of Medicare Supplemental Plans

-Medicare Advantage or Part C: Medicare Advantage plans merge your Part A and Part B coverage and perform as your primary insurance. Private insurance companies offer Medicare Part C coverage. They usually include prescription drug coverage.

-Medicare Supplement or Medigap: These plans are known as Medigap Plans because they cover the 20% of costs that Medicare does not cover.

-Medicare Prescription Drug or Part D: These plans help make up for the costs related to medications. There are different plans with varying costs and coverage.

Check With Your Doctor

When you enroll in any Medicare program, you should ensure that your doctor accepts Medicare insurance and payments.

Review Your Plan Annually

Insurance plans can change every year. So, you cannot just enroll in it and forget about it. The Annual Enrollment Period is your chance to review your plan and make the required changes. The Annual Enrollment Period starts from October 15  and goes on till December 7 every year.