65 years old yet? Be careful of penalties if you delay enrolling in Medicare..

Yikes! Where did the time go? 65 may have crept up on you or those you live with.. so it’s time to figure out Medicare, which starts generally when you turn 65: This is called your Initial Enrollment Period. It lasts for 7 months, starting 3 months before you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.  You may not want to wait until all the sudden it’s time to make choices and figure things out, so take a minute and get the basics down now.

While we have excellent resources to at least help start you down the path toward understanding the myriad of options, here is a link followed by the quick summary below:  Know the Penalties for Delayed Enrollment in Medicare and (What You Need To Know About Medicare)

What are the “parts” of Medicare and what does each cover? 

  • Part A is hospital insurance and helps cover things like inpatient care in the hospital, skilled nursing facility care for short term rehabilitation after a hospital stay, hospice care, and some home health care.
  • Part B is medical insurance and helps cover services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, some home health care, durable medical equipment like wheelchairs and walkers, and many preventative services such as screenings and vaccines.

Other Medicare Parts 

There are other parts of Medicare that are  run by private insurance companies.  They must comply with Medicare requirements.

  • Part C also known as Medicare Advantage plans, take the place of traditional Medicare part A and B. Advantage plans are known to be cost-effective options that can provide additional services like gym memberships and vision coverage.  Plans operate within a defined network of providers which can limit flexibility
  • Part D helps to cover the cost of prescription drugs.
  • Supplemental/Medigap policies cover more expenses than traditional Medicare, such as the co-pay on short-term rehabilitation days as well as offering access to a wider array of providers.