As you approach 65, you’ll start to prepare for the transition from traditional health insurance to Medicare. There isn’t a single Medicare option that’s best for everyone. Each person has a different set of health care needs and financial situations that will help determine what form of Medicare is best.
No matter what your current insurance situation is, doing your homework to better understand your options will help make the transition to Medicare smoother, and assure you make the choice that fits your lifestyle best.
Here are some basic facts about Medicare to help you when the time to transition into a Medicare plan comes.
When do I sign up for Medicare?
If you are collecting Social Security or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, you’ll be automatically enrolled and receive a
What’s the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older (individuals are also eligible for Medicare at an earlier age if they have kidney disease or certain disabilities).
Medicare Advantage, formed in 1995 by the federal government, was created to give people more options. Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private health insurance companies, like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and are regulated by the federal government. Medicare Advantage is referred to as Part C. Part C plans include Part A and Part B and additional benefits which may include dental, vision, hearing and prescription drugs. Part C plans have an out of pocket maximum each year.
What if I want more coverage than Original Medicare provides?
Then a Medicare Advantage plan may be the best fit for you. Learn about the benefits of going with a Medicare Advantage plan here.
Can I enroll if I’m not collecting social security (e.g., I’m still working)?
Yes. If you are still working at 65, and your company has more than 20 employees, you can use Medicare as a secondary insurance to supplement the health plan provided by your employer.
If the group health plan doesn’t pay all of your bill, your doctor or health care provider should send the bill to Medicare for secondary payment. Medicare will look at what your group health plan paid, and pay any additional costs up to the Medicare-approved amount for Medicare-covered and otherwise reimbursable items and services.
People age 65 or older, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, are eligible for Medicare Part A. You’re eligible for “Part A” at no cost at age 65 if: You receive or are eligible to receive Social Security benefits; or. You receive or are eligible to receive railroad retirement benefits; or. Then there is Part B.
There are many different options and different types of plans when it comes to your Medicare coverage. If you enjoy having extra protection when it comes to your health, a Medicare Advantage plan may be right for you because of the added benefits that most Medicare Advantage plans typically offer. Asking the right questions and being informed about the next stage of your healthcare coverage will assure that you’re on track moving forward with a plan that appropriately fits your needs.
To learn more about Medicare, these blogs will help you make an informed decision:
- Have Medicare? The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act
- Almost Eligible for Medicare? 4 Must-Knows Before You Enroll
- Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare Plans A-D
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