If you are considered to be a baby boomer and turn 65 years old in 2017, you could use these helpful tips for enrolling in Medicare.
Medicare eligibility begins at age 65 for the majority of Americans. Boomers that were born in 1952 are the next to collect the benefits of Medicare. Here are a few tips for your health care.
- You Must Enroll Within a Set Time Period
Your initial enrollment period (IEP) is seven months long.
• 3 months before you turn 65
• The month you turn 65
• 3 months after you turn 65
(Some people delay enrollment in Medicare Part B if they are still covered by their active-employment health insurance and there is a different enrollment timeframe for that situation.)
- Two Primary Options for Medicare Coverage
There are two primary ways to enroll in Medicare coverage:
• Original Medicare – provides Parts A & B coverage
• Medicare Advantage–the alternative to Original Medicare (also known as Part C)
Original Medicare is administered by the federal government while Medicare Advantage is offered through private companies that have been approved and contracted by Medicare. These Advantage companies must offer the same benefits as Original Medicare, both Parts A & B. Medicare Advantage plans are not available in all counties. Many of them also include additional benefits above and beyond Original Medicare. For example, Medicare Advantage plans may include prescription drugs, routine vision, routine hearing, and more.
- Medicare Does Not Cover Everything
- One important piece of coverage that Original Medicare does not provide, is prescription drugs. If you opt to stay with Original Medicare, you may want to purchase a Stand-Alone Part D prescription drug plan, to acquire this coverage. There are also deductibles and coinsurance associated with Original Medicare. Some people purchase an additional Medicare Supplement plan to help offset those costs.
With more people turning 65, as well as delaying retirement, be sure to contact SeniorChoices NW to schedule an appointment to review the timeframes to enroll, and learn which plans are available in your area of Oregon or Washington.