Sometimes, it can feel like you’re all alone when it comes to managing your health insurance. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” manual for acquiring a plan. Even though Original Medicare makes it easier for older adults to access affordable healthcare, there are still various decisions that you will need to make about your coverage and costs. You’ll also need to pay attention to a few important deadlines.

Fortunately, Time for 65 is here to help you avoid making any mistakes with your Medicare coverage. So, let’s get started!

Know How and When to Apply

If you’re receiving Social Security benefits, you don’t need to worry about signing up. You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. However, if you choose to delay receiving your Social Security, you will need to know when and how to apply for Medicare.

The Initial Enrollment Period begins three months prior to the month of your 65th birthday and continues for a total of seven months. If you miss the deadline, you will need to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period and you may have to pay some penalty fees for signing up for Medicare Part B late. To sign up for a Medicare plan, you can contact the Social Security Administration or speak to one of Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents.

Know What You Get With Original Medicare

Original Medicare consists of Part A and Part B. While these combined programs will cover a lot of your healthcare costs, they won’t cover everything. Here’s a breakdown of what you get with Part A coverage:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Skilled nursing facility care
  • Hospice care
  • Nursing home care
  • Home health care

Alternatively, Part B covers the following:

  • Ambulance services
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Some mental health services
  • Medically-necessary outpatient services
  • Some preventative care

Know What You Won’t Get With Original Medicare

Some of the coverage above is a little vague, so it’s important to point out things that you won’t get with Original Medicare. Here are some of the most common costs that are generally not covered under Medicare Part A or Part B:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Hearing care
  • Vision care
  • Dental care
  • Emergency foreign travel care

If you want to get some of these things covered, you will need to either add Medicare Part D and Supplemental Medicare Coverage (Medigap) to your existing plan or switch to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Know the Costs of Original Medicare

While Original Medicare is more affordable than many private insurance plans, it’s not free. Most Medicare beneficiaries will qualify for premium-free Part A coverage, but Part B still requires payment of a monthly premium. Additionally, you’ll have to factor in the cost of meeting your deductibles, as well as paying for coinsurances, copayments, and other out-of-pocket fees.

The Bottom Line

Medicare can feel complicated, but it doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, if you pay attention to the details and choose the right plan for your needs and budget, Medicare can be a huge help during your retirement years. So, always make sure to plan ahead and get the right information about your Medicare coverage.

If you’d like to learn more about avoiding Medicare mistakes or your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out the form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.