Published: June 29, 2021
You’ve prepared yourself for many things throughout your life: your first day of work, your wedding, your first child. Now it’s time to prepare yourself for the next big thing, Medicare. Medicare is a confusing concept to immediately understand. It takes time before you feel confident enough to tackle what lies in it. If you’re unfamiliar with the program, Medicare is a health insurance program that is typically offered to Americans over the age of 65. It began in 1965 and has been offered throughout the United States since. As you prepare yourself for Medicare, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind to ensure that you better understand what the program is and how it could benefit you.
There are benefits for being enrolled for Medicare, but there are also benefits to preparing yourself for Medicare too. The first, and one of the obvious, benefits is that you’ll know what you’ll be getting yourself into. Going into Medicare enrollment without preparation will likely leave you confused and frustrated. By preparing, you’ll have information regarding your current health insurance plan, advice from a specialized agent and desired preferences in mind. No one knows your situation as well as you do, so planning for enrollment ahead of time will help you definitively settle on what you want.
Being prepared for Medicare will also benefit you because you’ll be able to enroll early. Like we stated before, open enrollment for Medicare begins three months before your 65th birthday and lasts until three months after you’ve turned 65. Preparing for Medicare early will allow you to enroll early.
Not to mention, preparing for Medicare will make things a lot easier. When you fill out the required information pertaining to enrollment, you’ll know your answers – or have them close – so you’re not scrambling to remember anything.
Before you begin the process of preparing for Medicare, you first want to ensure that you are eligible. Medicare enrollment opens three months before you turn 65 and will be open for three months afterward. However, if you’re younger than 65, you can still qualify for Medicare if you have a permanent disability, end-stage renal disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or if you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months. These 24 months do not have to be consecutive.
Whether this is an insurance agent or broker, this specialist is familiar with the concept of Medicare and is ready to help you better understand what it entails. Seeking help from a specialist will not only relieve your confusion, but it could answer questions you don’t know you have.
Talk with a specialist about the potential benefits you will get out of Medicare, as well as some of the common misconceptions that go along with it, so that you have a better understanding of what you will be enrolling in.
This is where The Best Senior Services can help. The Best Senior Services specializes in providing seniors a licensed agent in their area that prioritizes their needs. Let TBSS connect you with a licensed representative by filling out some important information.
Meeting with a specialist is a great step in preparing yourself for Medicare. However, you shouldn’t only gather your information from your insurance agent or broker. It’s important you do your own research as well. The research you find could range from enrollment periods that work best for you or knowing what benefits you will get out of Medicare.
You’ll also want to do a deep dive into your current health insurance plan. Consider what coverage you currently have, and whether it will change once you turn 65. Knowing what you have now will help you fine-tune what you will need – or want – to have covered when you switch to Medicare.
It could even help to talk with others who have Medicare. There are large communities of people who are enrolled in the program and can offer great advice about things you are unsure about or want more information over.
Although millions of Americans over 65 use Medicare, that doesn’t guarantee your doctor will accept Medicare as your health insurance. Speak with your doctor to ensure that he or she accepts Medicare. If not, your agent will be able to provide you specific information about your plan.
Much like other insurance policies, Medicare isn’t flexible when it comes to dates. Perhaps the most important day to keep in mind with Medicare is October 15. This is when the Annual Open Enrollment Period begins, and it lasts until December 7. That is an eight-week timeframe in which you and your eligible loved ones can enroll for Medicare.
We all get so used to planning our entire lives out that we forget we can break the planning process into smaller parts. A great way to mentally get ready for Medicare is to take things in smaller increments. As you continue with your research, you’ll find online resources that will help you plan for your first year in Medicare. This will help you plan all of the details in a manageable way, rather than overwhelm yourself with planning years in advance.
You can find your Year 1 Medicare checklist on medicare.gov, an enrollment checklist on healthline.com or articles with checklists for Medicare online.
Medicare isn’t the most exciting thing to be planning for, but it’s a good thing to be considering. It offers a full array of benefits and can be personalized to your preferences. When preparing for Medicare, remind yourself of the things that you need to do to successfully enroll. You should also keep in mind the things you have discovered about Medicare in your research – both online and with a specialist. Regardless, you’re on the right path to understanding what Medicare entails and how you can conquer it.
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