Healthcare costs

5 tips for choosing Medicare

As you go through various stages of your life, it is very likely that your medical needs will continue to change.

When people get older, they become eligible for Medicare. If you would like to receive those benefits, you are required to enroll and sign up. The following five tips will give you more information on Medicare and the various options that are available to you.

1. When Do You Enroll?

Medicare has more than one enrollment period that is available.

Initial Enrollment: This refers to the first time that you can enroll in Medicare. The time frame begins three months prior to your 65th birthday, and it ends three months past your birthday. If you decide to sign up during that time frame, you will not be required to answer any medical questions to enroll in the program.

General Enrollment Period: You can enroll for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period if you don’t sign by the time your Initial Enrollment Period is over. Every year, this time frame runs from January 1st through March 31st. If you enroll during this time frame instead of during the Initial Enrollment Period, you might be charged penalty fees for enrolling late.

2. How Basic Medicare Part A and Part B Work

Medicare Part A covers inpatient care that you get at hospitals. It is basically hospital insurance. If you are injured or ill already, you can get help to cover your medical expenses from Medicare Part A. Critical access hospital care, skilled nursing care, home health care, and hospice care are covered. However, long-term care isn’t covered.

Medicare Part B has been designed for preventative care. It is medical insurance. To understand the difference between Part A and Part B of Medicare, think of the “B” standing for “Before.” It covers the medical expenses before you suffer any serious injuries or become ill. For example, regular doctor check-ups are covered under Medicare Part B.

3. What Does Medicare Insurance Cover?

Many people have a hard time keeping track of what is covered under Medicare and what isn’t. It is important to keep in mind that Medicare only covers 80% of services costs. For example, if you receive a $20,000 bill for a stay in the hospital, 80% of those costs will be covered by Medicare. That means you would need to pay $4,000 yourself. Under basic Medicare, drug coverage is not covered. If you don’t have a prescription drug plan, then you will have to pay for your prescription medications on your own. 

Supplemental Medicare plans

2021 Medicare Advantage plans, Part C. Part A and Part B are combined by these plans. They have been designs to work as your main insurance coverage. This coverage can be obtained from private insurance companies. Prescription drugs are usually covered. 

Medicare Supplement or Medigap: These plans offer coverage for the 20% that Medicare does not cover. They have been designed to fill this coverage gap. The amount of coverage you will get will vary based on which plan you select.

Medicare Prescription Drug or Medicare Part D: These plans are designed to help cover medication costs. There are a number of different plans that are available, and the coverage will vary. Speak to Medicare specialist ZRN Health and Financial Services to find the plan that best fits your needs.

4. Confirm That Your Doctor Accepts Medicare

Check to ensure that Medicare or other kinds of Medicare programs are accepted by your doctor after you have enrolled. If you plan ahead during this time it will help to avoid problems with insurance and payment later.

5. Evaluate Your Plan Every Year

There is an Annual Enrollment Period offered by Medicare from October 15th through December 7th. That gives you the chance to review your plan once a year.

Insurance plans can potentially change each year, so it is important to review your plan. The enrollment period is the ideal plan to make any necessary adjustments to your plan. You can look closely at your plan and decide whether your needs are met by your current health insurance plan. Be sure to work with insurers that specialize in providing seniors with health coverage.