The sign up for Medicare can be anxiety-inducing and confusing. Many people feel like the system is actively working against them just to get more money. To make sure you’re getting the coverage you need to be a healthy, functioning person while not shoveling piles of money into the healthcare furnace, we encourage you to make a few important considerations:
When should you sign up?
First and foremost, you’ll need to know when and how you’re dealing with the sign up for Medicare. There are various enrollment periods that you could benefit from familiarizing yourself with.
Are you on Social Security?
Are you eligible for Medicare automatically? Have you been collecting Social Security benefits? Contact a licensed representative to make sure you’re on the right timeline so you don’t get bogged down by late-enrollment penalties.
What are the costs?
Seems obvious, but what are the direct costs of some of these Medicare plans? A lot of plans require more money than you’d think when factoring in the premiums, deductibles and copays, so it’s ideal if you’re familiar these basic costs. What services might you need that are specific to your health needs? Medicare costs can greatly vary as well depending on your certain treatment plan.
What is the coverage of your prospective plan?
If you’ve got a particular plan in mind, what does this specifically cover? Do you have pre-existing conditions that are covered by this plan? To maximize your coverage, we encourage you to think ahead to any future conditions or illnesses you may develop before beginning the sign up for Medicare. Paying the coverage now for a service you don’t need yet is more ideal than adding coverage to your already-existing plan and having to pay a good deal of penalties for not signing up initially.
Do you need other coverage?
Are there any gaps in your Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage coverage? Even with the right Medicare plan, there are bound to be some gaps that the insurance isn’t willing to pay. You might want to consider looking into Medigap plans, or supplemental Medicare insurance that works to fill theses gaps. It seems really complicated, but a great deal of people have Medigap plans as they help a lot in covering costs to make sure you’re not paying loads of money out-of-pocket.
What does your prescription drug situation look like?
Do you have any medications that you take/will need to start taking soon? In the same vein as considering coverage for a service you might not need yet, it’s worthwhile to think about the prescription drug plan for the future in the sign up for Medicare. Even if you don’t take medication now, you might at some point down the road, and drugs can get extremely pricey very quickly.
What are your doctor and hospital choices?
Do you have a doctor that you trust? Will your new plan cover you if you continue to see this professional? How are hospital visits covered by your plan in the case of an emergency? These are all good questions to ask, especially because Medicare Advantage Plans only allow you to see certain doctors within a specific network. You might want to find out if your current doctor is covered by your prospective plan or if you need to change care providers so that you aren’t left scrambling if/when a situation arises.
Do you travel a lot?
Do you move around in the states a lot to visit other places? Are you leaving the country often? If you’re hungry for traveling, it’s vital to consider if your plan will cover you depending on the places you go. Sometimes coverage varies from state to state and outside of the country. If you have an emergency while you’re in the middle of your vacation in Maui, for example, it’s possible that you’ll receive different coverage rates than perhaps you would in your home state.
We know this is a lot of stressful information, so sit back and take a deep breath. These might seem like overboard in considering the sign up for Medicare, but each and every detail is important in making sure you’re as covered as possible. Contact a licensed representative today to go through this step by step, and maybe by the end of the day you’ll be a Medicare expert too.