When can I get Medicare benefits?
For most people, the first of the month that you turn 65 years old is when Medicare becomes active. However, for those who are past their 65th birthday and have had their insurance through their employer, they have the option to begin Medicare when they choose. Also, if you are receiving social security disability you are also eligible for Medicare no matter your age.
How do I apply for Medicare?
If you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare. If this is the case, you'll be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B of Medicare and you can expect to receive your Medicare benefits card about three months before you turn 65.
If you are not receiving your Social Security retirement benefit when you turn 65, you will have to apply for Medicare either via online through the Social Security Administration's website or by going to a local social security office.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies contracted by the federal government. Medicare Advantage, also referred to as Medicare Part C, covers the same healthcare services as Original Medicare, with the exception of hospice care. Many Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage. In addition, many Medicare Advantage plans include coverage for vision, dental and hearing care. Health and wellness benefits like fitness programs may be offered, as well.
What is a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan?
Medigap is Medicare Supplement Insurance that helps fill "gaps" in Original Medicare and is sold by private companies. Original Medicare pays for much, but not all, of the cost for covered health care services and supplies. A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy can help pay some of the remaining health care costs, like co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles.
What is Medicare open enrollment?
Medicare open enrollment refers to the period (October 15 through December 7) during which Medicare plan enrollees can reevaluate their coverage and make changes if they choose to do so.
During the open enrollment period, you can make changes to their Medicare coverage. If you’re enrolled in Medicare you can:
The annual open enrollment does not apply to Medigap plans. You can switch Medigap plans anytime during the year. However, there may be qualifying standards.