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Medicare is a government health insurance program that is administered by the federal government. Through it, millions of Americans receive affordable health coverage. Their benefits include coverage for basic preventive health care services as well as a range of more complex services. Through Part A of the program, hospital stays and other inpatient care is covered, while Part B provides coverage for preventive health services and medically necessary services.
To be considered eligible for Medicare benefits, an individual must qualify based on age or a disability. Most people are eligible as soon as they turn 65, though others may qualify sooner if they have a disability. To qualify based on a disability, applicants must have collected Social Security disability benefits for a minimum of 24 months. Although, it is possible to circumvent this waiting period if you have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or End-Stage Renal Disease. People with these conditions often receive their benefits soon after diagnosis.
If you are already collecting Social Security Income, you may be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B of Medicare when you become eligible. The Medicare organization will send you an information packet when this happens, informing you of what your benefits are. Any premium payments that you are obligated to pay may be taken out of your Social Security Income. Though, many people qualify for premium-free Part A coverage.
You have the option to deny Part B, but it is not possible to refuse Part A without paying back all of your Social Security cash benefits. If you are not automatically enrolled in Medicare, you need to sign up manually. This requires a trip to the Social Security officer or completing an application online. A Medicare agent can help guide you through this process if you need help.
You cannot enroll in Medicare whenever you want. Enrollment only takes place during specific periods called enrollment periods. These enrollment periods occur throughout the year and at special times as well. For example, the Initial Enrollment Period begins around the time you first become eligible for Medicare. During this time, you can enroll in any Medicare plan you like. Outside of this period, you may need to wait for the Annual Enrollment or Open Enrollment Periods, or try to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
You shouldn’t be left alone to choose your own Medicare plan. Rely on the trained professionals at Medicare Advisor of Louisiana LLC to help you find the best plan for your situation. We can also help you ensure that you do not miss any upcoming enrollment periods that you should take advantage of!