Planning for Medicare
From planning for the future, to taking care of the present, there are many things to consider as we age. For many adults who are approaching 65, applying for Medicare can be at the top of the to-do list. Its reputation for being inefficient and complex can be intimidating, especially for something so important. At Carespring Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities, we’re always finding ways to make our residents’ lives easier. Here are some tips to navigating Medicare when the time comes.
Start before you need to
Since the process can be time consuming, start right when your initial enrollment period begins, which is exactly three months before your 65th birthday. You have four months after your birthday until the enrollment period ends. After this, you are at risk for paying penalty fees for tardiness. Many people start learning about the process a whole year before applying. So, don’t be afraid to start research the process before you actually need it!
Know what you want
There are a lot of options offered by Medicare, so make sure to know what will be a good fit for you. According to Medicare Interactive, here are some of the most common terms you will read while doing your research.
* Medicare Part A refers to all hospital-related coverage such as, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and hospice care. This care is free if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for 10 years. If you don’t meet those qualifications, you will pay a monthly premium, like most traditional health insurance plans.
* Part B concerns medical insurance like doctor’s services, preventative care, equipment, outpatient services along with a variety of tests and some home health services. This is available for a monthly premium.
* Part C are policies provided by private health insurance companies. Every Part C plan must provide the same Medicare benefits as Part A and Part B. Part C plans are referred to as Medicare Advantage Plans.
* Part D covers prescription drugs and is provided only through private insurance companies. Part D is also available as a stand-alone plan.
Be sure to choose a plan that will serve you well. After you turn 65, Medicare is your primary insurer. This is true even if you have individual health insurance or retiree health insurance. Make sure to get as much information as you can about your new Medicare plan because there may be differences on coverage when compared to your previous insurance plan. There are companies in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky that may be able to assist you as well.
When the time comes, try the tips above and always remember to take care of yourself by taking care of your health.