Medicare is a very key program that assists millions of elderly and disabled Americans. In as much as the program is important, only a few people understand how it actually works. Most people have little knowledge of how Medicare works mainly because of lack of or inadequate accurate information about the program.
While the program is complex and can be challenging to understand if one does not have the accurate information, here are some dos and don’ts of Medicare that could help bring a better understanding of how this program actually works.
Do take some time and learn about Medicare
Medicare is a system characterized by many deadlines and choices. Taking time and doing some research on what the program entails and the various requirements is a great way to avoid pitfalls and mistakes that could end up costing one a lot of money.
Don’t expect to be notified when time comes to sign up
No one will bring anyone an official notice informing them of when to sign up and how to sign up for Medicare. Unless you are receiving disability benefits or Social Security retirement benefits, it is up to you to apply for Medicare.
Do enroll when it’s time to
Early coverage enrollment cannot be denied coverage. But if one delays, they may not be able to qualify for the coverage when they apply later. And if they do, the costs could be significantly higher. It is, therefore, advisable that one enrolls when they attain the age of 65 and within 8 months of retirement.
Don’t despair if you think you haven’t worked “long enough.”
One can still qualify for hospital insurance on the former or current work record of one’s spouse without having to pay premiums for the same. Alternatively, one can buy into the hospital insurance by paying premiums. One can enjoy coverage for outpatient care, doctor’s services, medical equipment, and prescription drug coverage regardless of the time one worked. In fact, one can get covered with these benefits even if they had not worked before. As long as one is a citizen of the United States or a legal permanent resident and is able to pay the premiums, they can be covered.
Do find time to research on how other health insurance works and Medicare
Eligibility of Medicare can significantly affect other insurances benefits that one may be enjoying. They include the benefits from the former or the current union or employer. Get to find out how they are affected so as to know what to expect and what not to expect.
Don’t stress out that your poor health will negatively affect your coverage
One thing about Medicare is that once one has qualified for the coverage plan, they will receive all the advantages that come with it regardless of one’s situation. A history of poor health will, in no way, lead to one being denied coverage or one being charged higher premiums.
Do keep in mind the fact that Medicare is not free
Medicare is not free. One is required to pay premiums in order to enjoy the coverage. One may, also, be required to pay other copayments alongside the premiums, not unless they are on a low-income program or they have another insurance source.
Don’t assume Medicare covers all things
While the program covers a wide array of medical services – inclusive of the expensive services like organ transplants, medical equipment, and prescription drugs – some things are not covered in the plan. Some of the things not covered in the plan include routine hearing, vision and dental care, and non-medical costs in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Also, the program does not cover one’s dependents. It has no family coverage.
Do get help when you need some
In case one is faced with challenges with the application or lack of sufficient information about the program, they should not be afraid to seek help. One might qualify for lower premiums and prescription drug coverage at a lower cost. Be sure to seek help when going through the available options and choose one that best fits.