Medicare eligibility age always seemed like something too distant to contemplate, but now that it’s finally approaching, you might be wondering how to begin the sign-up process.
First, look at the calendar. You have a seven-month window to enroll beginning three months before the month you turn 65 and ending three months after your birthday month.
Next, pick your plan. Parts A and B—known as original Medicare—are the cornerstones of the program. Part A includes coverage of hospital, hospice and home health services, and Part B covers surgeries, outpatient medical care and medical supplies. Many people pay a premium for Part B, but not Part A.
Medicare Advantage plans are Parts A and B coverage provided by private insurers that typically feature a network of providers and require both a monthly and a Part B premium.
Finally, check your medications list. If you take several drugs, you might wish to sign up for Part D, or prescription drug coverage, as part of original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan. Part D coverage typically carries a fee.
Now that you’ve organized your thoughts and made some key decisions, it’s time to embark on the next chapter of your healthcare journey. Contact the Social Security Administration to enroll in Parts A and B, or use the Medicare website to search for a Medicare Advantage plan in your area.