Table of Contents
- Medicare Open Enrollment Period
- Medicare Enrollment Eligibility
- Enrolling in Original Medicare
- Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period
- Debating on Getting Medicare?
Are you interested in applying for Medicare but are not sure about how to tackle the process?
The extent of Medicare coverage can be confusing for a lot of people. Sometimes, enrolling in Medicare even seems like a waste of money. Knowing what you’re getting into, therefore, will help you benefit from the insurance.
This article will provide an expert guide to all the things you need to know about Medicare enrollment.
The Medicare open enrollment period goes from October 15 to December 7. Enrolling now will ensure that you have Medicare coverage in 2021. Within this period of time, enrollees can make changes to their current Medicare enrollment, or choose to purchase new plans.
A few things you can do during the enrollment period:
Medicare coverage can start in January 1 in 2021 if your request arrives on time.
Most of the time, you are only eligible for full Medicare coverage when you are 65 years old or above. You will also need to be a US citizen receiving Social Security benefits, or have worked as a government employee.
People can receive Medicare coverage even if they are under 65 if they have applied for Social Security disability coverage for at least two years, have faced Lou Gehrig’s disease, or are going through permanent kidney failure.
You can also purchase full Medicare coverage in the following ways.
Original Medicare Part A refers to hospital insurance. The amount you will need to pay for this plan will depend on how many work credits you have (which is based on how long you’ve worked and how much income you make).
Part B of Medicare health insurance covers visits to the doctor and to outpatient services. For this plan, there is a fixed monthly premium of $148.50 in 2021.
Part D premiums differ based on your income. In 2021, for example, you pay the specified plan premium when your 2019 income is $88,000 or below. If your income is between $88,000 and $111,000, you will have to add $12.30 to your current premium.
There is a progressive increase to the additional amount you will have to pay if you exceed each bracket. To find out more, Medicare.gov provides a list of the different payment requirements.
You are automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B of the Original Medicare plan if you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, and if you’re a US resident. To avoid paying unnecessary premiums, you can choose not to enroll in plans you don’t feel are necessary.
If you are turning 65 but do not meet the requirement of receiving the aforementioned benefits, you are not automatically enrolled in Original Medicare. To apply for Medicare coverage yourself, you will need to visit ssa.gov during the Medicare open enrollment period 2021.
If you want your coverage to start as soon as you turn 65, you will need to apply at least three months before your birthday month.
There are additional factors for you to consider when planning to enroll in Original Medicare.
Additional Resource: An Overview of Medicare Flex Cards
As a full-time worker, you may be receiving separate health insurance and can therefore opt out of using Original Medicare. The exception is if your work health insurance only covers 20 people.
If your spouse is working full-time, you can also delay your Original Medicare, although some conditions will apply for this.
If your income is higher than $85,000 if you are single or widowed, or if you and your spouse’s income is above $170,000, you will have to pay the Medicare premiums with an additional amount. This addition will progressively increase if you keep moving to a higher income bracket.
This is something you will need to consider if you plan to enroll in Original Medicare. There is likely to be additional costs that you will need to pay every month to keep your coverage.
Before you sign on to receive Medicare coverage, make sure to check the prescription drugs you currently need, and whether or not they are covered by Original Medicare. Otherwise, you may be paying way more than you need to.
You may not feel that you need coverage for medication if you’re not taking any, but it’s always better to plan for the future. Paying for insurance means you will not be surprised by having to pay the full price of any future medical bills that may come unexpectedly.
To find out more about how to enrol in Medicare, or if enrolling is even beneficial for you, you can consult Medicare health insurance experts. They are more likely to know the details of your eligibility, and the average prices you will have to pay throughout your coverage. They can also walk you through your actual enrollment process.
Medicare Advantage represents an alternative to Original Medicare coverage. Private companies with the approval of Medicare can provide Medicare Advantage to their employees.
The Medicare Advantage open enrollment period will occur from January 1 to March 31, 2021. Medicare Advantage essentially combines the benefits from Part A and Part B, although you will still need to pay an added premium for Part B coverage.
You can enroll in Medicare Advantage as soon as you’re eligible to enroll in the Original Medicare coverage.
Overall, enrolling in Medicare involves a whole range of factors for you to consider, ranging from the incomes you make to whether a plan is really necessary. If you don’t know your way around the enrollment process or are still considering whether it is worth it, consulting the experts is always a good way to become certain.
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