Medicare is many things — quality, reliable, affordable. When you enroll, you’re plugged into something great. But what exactly is it? Let’s dive in.
Medicare is, in short, health insurance for eligible individuals. It is affordable, with plenty of coverage to keep you happy and secure whether you’re retired, disabled, or have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare is a federal health insurance program to help cover those who cannot receive coverage through an employer. This limits eligibility to select groups.
You can enroll if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). With Medicare, ESRD patients will receive specific coverage beneficial to their condition that they would not be able to find otherwise.
You can also enroll if you’ve received 24 months of Social Security disability payments. If you’re out of work due to a disability, you may be living without any substantial health insurance, which could spell financial hardship. Instead, you’ll receive low-cost, necessary coverage.
Finally, Medicare is insurance for seniors. When you turn 65, you can enroll in any Medicare plan of your choice. This includes Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), Part D, or a Medicare Supplement.
What are these Medicare plans, and how much do they cost? Part A covers short-term emergency hospital and nursing home care. You will likely only pay the deductible, which is currently $1,600 per benefit period.
Part B covers general medical needs approved by a Medicare licensed healthcare provider. It has a current $164.90 premium and a $226 deductible.
Part C, or Medicare Advantage, provides all of the coverage included in Original Medicare while coordinating your care to recurve lower-cost care.
Part D covers prescription drugs. It may even be included in Medicare Advantage.
Supplements cover many of the costs of Original Medicare and then some, including deductibles.
When you’re three months from turning 65, you’ll start your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This lasts 7 months and is your best opportunity to enroll in any of the coverage you want. You don’t have to enroll right away if you’re still covered by your employer, but it’s highly recommended.
If you miss the IEP, you can enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP) from January 1 through March 31. You may, however, face some late fees and difficulty enrolling.
Once you’ve enrolled in Medicare, you can make changes to your coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) from October 15 through December.