Medicare Open Enrollment is right around the corner. From October 15 – December 7, 2014, seniors age 65 and over can sign up for Medicare Parts A & B and current beneficiaries can review and adjust their plan.
Medicare can be confusing, especially if you’re new to the process. Before you get started, here are some of the basics:
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a Federal health insurance program available to citizens over the age of 65. It provides coverage for hospital care and physician services, with supplemental plans available for additional areas of coverage. These areas of coverage include:
- Part A: Hospital coverage. For inpatient care.
- Part B: Medical insurance. For outpatient/physician care.
- Part C: Medicare Advantage. Purchased through a private insurance company to help pay for their healthcare costs. This is in place of parts A and B.
- Part D: Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Who Is Eligible For Medicare?
American citizens age 65 and older are typically eligible for Medicare. There are exceptions and additional groups that can utilize Medicare. Check your Medicare eligibility by answering a few questions.
Choosing a Plan
Medicare offers a variety of options because no plan is one-size-fits-all. When choosing what parts of Medicare you’d like to enroll in, there are a number of factors to consider.
- Make sure the prescriptions you take are covered by the plan you choose.
- Make sure your provider accepts Medicare assignment. Some doctors and hospitals “participate” in Medicare, meaning they will file your insurance as a courtesy, but you will pay up to 15% more.
- If you have regular Medicare, you don’t need a referral to see a specialist. But if you are in a Medicare HMO (a Medicare Advantage plan), a referral is usually required. Also, make sure all your providers are in the Medicare plan network.
Ready to enroll? Make sure you have the following handy:
- Your full name
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- A completed application. Remember: the application will generate an application #. Make sure to save this number. You’ll need it to adjust your application and/or check the status of your application.
- Supplemental insurance information: If you have another type of insurance, make sure you have all that information ready. This includes:
• Group plan information
• Employment information
• Dates of coverage
Print off an Open Enrollment Checklist and get started!
Need Some Help During Open Enrollment?
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