Are you turning 65 this year? If so, you probably already know this is the year you are eligible for Medicare. Read on for some useful tips to keep in mind as you consider your Medicare enrollment options.
1. You Have A Set Time To Enroll In Medicare
You can sign up for Medicare for the first time during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). The IEP is a 7-month window, which includes:
- the 3 months before your birth month
- the month of your birthday
- the 3 months after your birth month
2. You Can Delay Medicare Part B
If you are still working at age 65, you may want to delay enrolling in some of the parts of Medicare until you retire. This is because Medicare Part B is not free and you might save money by delaying Part B if you have other health care coverage, such as through an employer. Then when you retire, you can use your Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare without being subject to a late enrollment penalty.
3. There Are Different Ways To Get Medicare
Medicare gives you coverage choices, which include:
- Original Medicare (Parts A & B) – the traditional way
- Medicare Advantage (Part C) – an alternative to Original Medicare
- Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) – secondary to Original Medicare
4. Medicare Does Not Cover Everything
Original Medicare does not cover all costs associated with hospital and medical insurance, and it does not include prescription drug coverage. You may buy a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) to help get the prescription coverage you need.
5. There Is Help If You Need It
It is important to look before you leap when choosing your Medicare plan. Take time to discuss your options with a licensed broker. They can help research to find a plan that best meets your needs and get you enrolled quickly.