If you are about to turn 65 in the near future, information in this article may be very beneficial to you. As a taxpaying U.S. citizen, you will finally be able to enroll in Medicare health insurance! For most people, the expense for this new health care coverage will mean a significant reduction in premiums, especially if their current individual insurance is through a private off-market plan.
Most individuals will automatically be eligible for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) when they turn 65, if they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while they were working. Medicare Part B helps with the cost of medical treatment from doctors, etc. outside of a hospital setting. However, in order to be insured for medical treatment for Part B, you must actually apply for coverage through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within a certain specific time period. If you are eligible when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes your birth month, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. (It is usually a good idea to begin the application process as soon as possible.)
Once you have applied for your “Original” Medicare Parts A & B, you will then have some other options to consider. You can add a prescription drug plan, known as Part D, if you like. Many people want additional coverage to help with those expenses that are not included in Parts A, B, and D. (Medicare has certain limits and does not cover all medical costs.) There are two different ways to achieve this higher level of protection.
Most major insurance companies offer a Medicare Supplement, commonly referred to as a “Gap Plan” or “Medi-Gap”. As the name implies, these supplemental plans help to fill the gap for those costs that Original Medicare does not cover. The second choice is to consider applying for a “Medicare Advantage Plan”. These plans can be purchased with or without a prescription drug plan (MAPD) or (MA), and are required to provide coverage for the same benefits as Original Medicare Parts A & B at a minimum. They usually cover some added benefits as well. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you will receive your benefits from a private insurance company instead of the U.S. government.
There is a lot of information to review and evaluate. It’s a good idea to take the time to consider which method will provide you with the best benefits and at the right cost. Contact a “Medicare-Certified” agent for more in-depth details so you will be prepared when the time comes for you to enroll for your Medicare benefits. There is no fee for requesting the assistance of a certified agent! If you live anywhere within the borders of Texas, Austinhealthplans.com can help you get started. Call 512-535-3556 or send an e-mail message to: Tom@austinhealthplans.com.