Enrolling in Medicare

Living in the United States today, there’s a good chance that Medicare is a term you’ve heard repeated ad nauseum in debates and on the news. Politics aside, how does Medicare specifically effect you?

What is Medicare?

As defined on Medicare.gov, Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

We’re going to focus on providing those of you who are turning 65 with the information necessary to enroll in Medicare and decide which of the options it offers are best for you.

First Steps

Within the 90 days prior to your 65th birthday, you must contact Social Security in order to apply and be eligible for Medicare on your birthday. You can contact Social Security at (800)772-1213, apply online, or stop by your local Social Security office. If you decide to apply in person, be sure to use the Social Security Office Locator to find the location that’s most convenient and call them to schedule an appointment.

Once you’ve received your Part A & B Medicare Card, you can enroll in Medicare Supplement or Advantage plans.

Older Woman on Phone for Medicare

The Different Parts of Medicare

Part A (Hospital Insurance)

Part A is free of charge and is ideal for individuals enrolled in a group plan and don’t want to change to a Medicare Advantage or supplement plan.

Helps cover:

  • Inpatient care in hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Home health care

Part B (Medical Insurance)

Part B is ideal for individuals that have individual coverage or are coming off of a group plan. Part B charges are based on income reporting from the past two years.

Helps cover:

  • Services from doctors and other health care providers
  • Outpatient care
  • Home health care
  • Durable medical equipment (like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment)
  • Many preventive services (like screenings, shots or vaccines, and yearly “Wellness” visits)

Part D (Prescription drug coverage)

Helps cover:

  • Cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines)

 

Provided by Medicare.gov

What Are My Options?

Medicare offers two primary coverage options. These include supplemental coverage and Medicare Advantage.

Woman learning about Medicare options

Supplement

Supplement plans are available in different tiered options. Contact us for help navigating and selecting the option that best suits your needs.

Pros

  • No network (you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare)
  • Ability to change plans

Cons

  • You must pay a premium

Medicare Advantage

Pros

  • Combines hospital visits, routine medical care, and prescription drugs

Cons

  • Must pay deductible and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Need to stay within your coverage network
Family learning about Medicare

When Can I Enroll?

Each Medicare coverage option has its own set of correlating enrollment dates.

Medicare Parts A & B

Medicare parts A and B have a rolling enrollment period based on your age (3 months prior to and 3 months after turning 65).

Medicare Advantage and Part D

Annual Election Period for Medicare Advantage and Part D coverage occurs every year between October 15th and December 7th.

Supplement Plan

Supplemental coverage enables you to change your plan at any time.

Need More Information?

We understand that this can be a lot of information to handle on your own. At Conference Associates, we have an experienced team of licensed professionals to help you through this process. To contact us, use the form below or call (800)427-5358.




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