(HealthNewsDigest.com) – Medicare is one of those topics that gets discussed often in politics, however, many individuals don’t know a lot about it. Most figure they’ll deal with it when they get to the ripe age of 65 where they can start to claim the benefits. This isn’t the best approach. Rather, you should have a fairly clear idea of what Medicare entails before reaching 65 so that you can better determine how to sign up for it and what coverage Plans you want to opt for.
Medicare Only Works Within The Country
It can seem confusing to get your Medicare all set up and ready to go when you turn 65. Once it’s set up, you may think that you’re covered in case of an emergency. However, if you plan on doing some traveling abroad, you better think again. The benefits of Medicare are only applicable to the U.S. and some ships within the U.S. Territories. When traveling abroad, you’ll need to purchase private travel health care coverage to ensure that you’re covered in case of an emergency.
There Are Multiple Plans To Choose From
When you first sign up for Medicare, you’ll quickly realize you have several different options for supplemental plans. There are ten in total: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. Known as Medigap policies, these plans help individuals cover the cost of healthcare which is not explicitly covered by Medicare. It’s important to know the difference betweenMedicare Plan G and the other ones that might interest you. This enables you to get the best coverage available for your specific health situation.
Initial Enrollment Is Crucial
Three monthsbefore your 65th birthday, you can start to look at Medicare programs. Your initial enrollment period is going to span three months before and three months after your birthday. If you miss this enrollment period, you can sign up in the following January to March open enrollment period. However, realize that if you miss your initial enrollment during your birthday months, you’ll owe a 10 percent penalty on your premium for the following enrollment periods.
It’s Not Free
The only part of the Medicare Plans that are offered at no cost is Part A. The other Plan parts will require regular premiums to be active. ForPart B, the premium starts at $135 and can increase depending on a person’s income level. The costs of having Medicare Parts C and D highly depends on the individual benefits that the insuree decides to get. In addition to regular premium charges, expect to pay deductibles before your coverage will kick in.
Group Health Plans Can Elminiate Lifetime Penalties
As you learned above, you can be hit with penalties if you don’t sign up for Medicare within the six-month spread surrounding your 65th birthday. This holds true except when you’re eligible for group health plans through your existing employer. You’ll need to speak with a benefits specialist to ensure that your employer’s group health plan qualifies. There are many group health plans that can delay the necessity for signing up for Medicare Parts A and B.
Medicare is a more complicated topic than you may have initially thought. Hopefully, you’ve learned some new things regarding it and how it will apply to your life. If you’re still in the gray for some areas of Medicare, it can help to talk with a benefits specialist to get all of your questions answered.