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. Medicare is a wonderful medical coverage option that covers millions of Americans every year that are either disabled and or elderly and need additional coverage. However, of those millions of people, more lack the ability to get coverage for themselves because information on how and where to apply for Medicare is hard to find, and they lack the necessary information on how to navigate themselves through the program that is now and remains to be incredibly complex. A program that is supposed to help millions of people by supplementing healthcare coverage is one that instead becomes stressful. Below is a comprehensive guide that breaks down the do’s and don’ts of applying to Medicare so that you are sure to be enrolled in the program with as little hassle throughout the process as possible.
The First DO
When do you enroll in Medicare- the answer would seem that you would try to enroll as quickly as possible when you realize you need extra coverage from the general healthcare coverage you already have to cover costs incurred by medical expenses. When You realize you need Medicare, the best thing to do is not jump the gun. It is a highly complicated system that has several coverage choices as well as deadlines that have to be met. The best way to be informed on which Medicare option to use is by doing your due diligence. You can call a Medicare representative as well as Google and find several options that fit your coverage needs.
Don’t Expect to Be Notified When the 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.
An Important Don’t
Do not sit around and think that you will be given a call or receive any type of email or letter in the mail that notifies you that it is time to sign up for Medicare. If you are already signed up for Medicaid or social security benefits, or disability benefits, you will not have to apply for Medicare, but you still will not be notified when or how to enroll.
Do Enroll On Time
Late penalties that can stay on your record permanently as well as coverage delays are a direct result when do you enroll in Medicare. In order to avoid any penalties in enrollment, it is vital you enroll when your enrollment period is initially opened up at around the age of 65. Otherwise, you have to wait for a special open enrollment period. Before enrolling research when your enrollment period would be or find out from an agent when an open enrollment special is going on so that you do not get penalized with fees or delayed coverage.
What You Don’t Do if You Haven’t Worked Enough to Qualify
As mentioned before, there are several Medicare coverage options you can choose from that can help you out even if you have not necessarily worked long enough to qualify in the traditional methods. When do you enroll in Medicare if you have not worked long enough, you can possibly enroll in Medicare Part A which is hospital insurance. This could work by paying into Part A premiums and using a current or former spouse’s record of work history. There is also the Part B benefits option, Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, and any medical equipment used during a hospital visit. Part D Medicare benefits will cover any prescription drug use as long as you pay the premium costs, no matter how long you have or have not worked.
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. 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.
To Find Out How Health Insurance and Medicare Help One Another
If you already have coverage from health insurance but need additional short term health care coverage to cover medical costs, you need to first talk to either your insurance agent or a Medicare agent. They can help when do you enroll in Medicare and let you know how it will or will not affect your existing health insurance.
Do NOT Let Your Health Status Worry You
One thing that Medicare applicants often worry about, and rightfully so, is will medical history effect coverage. Thankfully, that is one thing you do not have to worry about with Medicare. If you apply for Medicare and are objectively accepted into the program, “will medical history effect coverage” is not even a concern on the spectrum. You legally be denied Medicare coverage or forced to pay higher premiums if your current health is poor nor if you have a history of poor health in the past. So, will medical history affect coverage? Absolutely not! That is one thing you do not have to worry about.
Do remember That Medicare Comes With a Cost
Many Medicare applicants make the mistake of believing that Medicare is free. If they are accepted into the program, they will not have to pay for anything. Try to remember that this is completely false! Yes, Medicare will absolutely help cover the costs of medical expenses, however, you will have to still pay the premium costs and the co-pay unless you also have proof of low-income or other insurance coverage.
Don’t Expect Dependents to Be Covered
If you are not disabled then you will not be able to receive coverage from Medicare unless you are 65 years of age or older. Medicare does not have an option to cover an entire family, it is only an applicant by applicant process. If you or a family member needs coverage and does not fall into either of these categories, there are several other medical coverage options that can help with medical expenses.
Always Do Seek Out Help That You Need
If you need help to cover medical expenses, do not be ashamed or hesitant to seek out help! There are state and federally funded healthcare coverage options that are set in place to help people cover medical expenses when they are unable to do it themselves, or need extra coverage aside from their existing insurance. There are several programs for people who qualify for low-income assistance and they can cover premiums completely or at least a large sum of it. There are also programs to help cover the cost of prescription drugs so you can get the medication you need. As always, do not hesitate to call or reach out and get assistance from people who know the programs and can help in whatever way you need.
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.