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There are certain times you can sign up for Original Medicare. Since it covers most but not all health care costs, look into a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan or a Medicare Advantage plan to help cover your share of costs.
If you're new to Medicare and eligible to enroll, or you're ready to retire, you're probably wondering what you need to know. Let's start with the basics. There are certain times you can sign up for Medicare known as enrollment periods. The most common is the initial enrollment period. It starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after you turn 65. Enrolling early will help you avoid late fees, penalties and higher premiums. You'll also avoid possible gaps in your coverage. If you're planning on retiring after the age of 65, you'll need to enroll about three months before you retire or within eight months from the date your employer's health coverage ends. If you're planning on enrolling in only Original Medicare, it's important to remember that it only covers up to 80% of your covered medical and hospital expenses. To help cover your share of costs, you may want to look at choosing a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan. Let's take a look at each kind of plan. Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans help pay for out-of-pocket costs and provide additional services and benefits, like the freedom to see any doctor in the U.S. that accepts Medicare without the need for referrals or authorizations. If you decide to go the Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan route, you’ll want to enroll within the first six months after you turn 65, to avoid paying more or being denied coverage. You can also choose a Medicare Advantage plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer all the benefits of Original Medicare while also including extra health and wellness benefits like preventive care, dental care, routine vision and hearing exams, gym membership and more. They also help lower your out-of-pocket costs. Most Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare prescription drug coverage, known as part D, for no additional charge. If you have prescriptions, find out which plans will cover them. Medicare supplement plans don't cover Part D, but you can purchase part D coverage from any private insurance carrier. Just make sure you find a plan that gives you the coverage you need. So, what are your next steps? First, you'll need to enroll in Medicare Part B when you're eligible, then you'll want to choose a plan that's right for your specific needs and wants. And we're always here to help. Together, we can assess your needs and determine the plan that fits your budget, health and other needs, making your transition into Medicare as smooth as possible. If you have questions or would like to enroll, contact us—so you can focus on your health and live your blue life.
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Last Updated 10012018Y0096_WEB_IL_CONNECT19_C