Medicare is for people age 65 and older and those who have special conditions or disabilities. Applying for Medicare can be an intimidating, complicated, and confusing process. So, in this article, Baywoods of Annapolis provides 4 things you should know about Medicare!
Tip #1: Signing Up
There are only certain periods when you can enroll in Medicare, and these are subject to change. At the time of this writing, you must enroll in the time period 3 months before your 65th birthday to 3 months after your 65th birthday. Failure to do so may subject you to certain penalties and even a gap in coverage, so be sure to check the official Medicare.gov website well before your 65th birthday and plan accordingly. Each member of your family must enroll in Medicare.
Tip #2: After 65, Medicare is Your Primary Insurer
Regardless of whether you have another insurance provider, (such as retiree health insurance, individual insurance, or COBRA insurance,) after you turn 65, Medicare is considered your primary insurer…even if you haven’t applied! So, be sure to follow guidelines in Tip 1 and sign up as soon as you are eligible.
Tip #3: Understanding the 4 Main Parts of Medicare
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers most medically necessary hospital, skilled nursing, home health and hospice care. However, there are strict guidelines which must be followed by the doctor and patient in order for coverage to be provided.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers most medically necessary doctors’ services, preventive care, durable medical equipment, hospital outpatient services, laboratory tests, x-rays, mental health care, and some home health and ambulance services. You pay a monthly premium for this coverage.”
Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Insurance) is provided only through private insurance companies that have contracts with the government—it is never provided directly by the government (like Original Medicare is),” Medicare Interactive explains.
Medicare Part C refers to Medicare Advantage Plans which allow private health insurance companies to provide Medicare policies and benefits as an alternative to Original Medicare. Some plans limit the doctors you can see (HMO, PPO) but may provide fewer out-of pocket expenses.
Tip #4: You Can Supplement Medicare
If you qualify and can afford it, you can opt to purchase a Medigap policy which will supplement expenses not covered by Medicare. This type of policy often covers coinsurance, co-payments, deductibles.
Baywoods of Annapolis is a local retirement community that cares deeply about our residents and the needs of seniors. Since healthcare and Medicare benefits are constantly being modified, we recommend you contact Medicare directly when it’s time to apply or for more information at: 800-633-4227 or https://www.medicare.gov/ Our team is also happy to share our resources and experience with you!