Medicare is intricate, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are new to Medicare, preparing to retire, or about to turn 65, you have several important decisions to make soon. We are here to make those choices clearer. We’ve outlined a checklist (with a timeline) for enrolling in Medicare and avoiding any late penalties or gaps in coverage.
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6-9 MONTHS BEFORE YOU TURN 65:
[ ] Understand the Parts of Medicare
There are only certain times when you can enroll in Medicare to avoid late penalties and gaps in coverage. Some people may be enrolled automatically, while others must apply for Medicare. The first time you can enroll is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
This 7-month period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. For example, if you’re 65th birthday was in the month of May, you would be eligible to enroll February 1 – August 31st.
[ ] Find Out Payment Options
4 MONTHS BEFORE YOU TURN 65:
[ ] Decide if you want Medicare Part A and Part B
You may choose to delay Part B if you have insurance through an employer. In most cases, the reason for delaying depends on the type of health coverage you may have. Learn more about delaying Part B on Medicare.gov
Depending on your unique situation, you may choose Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Supplemental options (Medigap) are also an option in some scenarios. This is the time to start collecting information that will help you choose a plan that fits your needs. Here are a few things to consider:
Does my doctor accept Medicare?
What will my prescription drugs cost?
Does my pharmacy accept Medicare?
Will I need referrals to visit specialists?
Answering these questions will help you choose the plan that is right for you. You can compare plans with any one of our licensed representatives by requesting a free, no-hassle consultation.
1-3 MONTHS BEFORE YOU TURN 65:
[ ] Enroll in Medicare Part A during your Initial Enrollment Period. Unless you qualify for special enrollment (such as having coverage through an employer), you should enroll in Medicare Part B at this time as well.
[ ] Join a Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plan) and/or a Medigap Plan
[ ] Join a Medicare Advantage Plan
THE MONTH YOUR COVERAGE BEGINS:
[ ] Confirm you received your Medicare card in the mail
[ ] Take advantage of your “Welcome to Medicare” preventative visit
We are here when you need to make the most informed decisions regarding your healthcare. Request a free, no-hassle consultation with a licensed representative to discuss your Medicare needs.