Medicare Enrollment – Things You Have to Know

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance coverage to people who are over 65 years (and to those who are under 65 years but have a disability), no matter their income. If one is considering enrolling for Medicare, here are a few things to know about this program. 
  1. People can be eligible for Medicare coverage for a number of different reasons
Some people are eligible as soon as they turn 65, while others are eligible because they have been receiving their Social Security Disability Insurance or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for a minimum period of 2 years. Some patients who are diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease may also be eligible for Medicare coverage. 
  1. People may or may not get Medicare Parts A and B converge automatically
Those who live in the U.S. and are collecting their Social Security benefits are usually automatically enrolled into Parts A and B when they first become eligible. They can, however, choose to decline Part B coverage. People who have yet started to collect their Social Security benefits are not typically automatically enrolled in Medicare. 
  1. One can only enroll for Medicare coverage at certain times
If one is eligible for Medicare, they will need to do their enrollment during the Initial Enrollment Period, which is a 7-month period in total (3 months before the person turns 65, the month they turn 65, and 3 months after they turn 65 years). However, people can also enroll during the General Enrollment Period, which lasts from January 1 until March 21 each year, or the Special Enrollment Period, which is outside both the Initial Enrollment and General Enrollment Periods. 
  1. It’s important to be aware of how Medicare will work with one’s existing health insurance plan
When one’s current health insurance plan and Medicare are responsible for paying the same claim, the coordination of benefits will determine how Medicare will work with other insurance coverage. It’s important for people to immediately get in touch with their health insurance company to understand how this will work and how much each plan is likely to pay.