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Looking to Retire this Year? Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Medicare Enrollment

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

If you're nearing retirement age, you may be wondering about your Medicare enrollment. When can you sign up? What are the costs? And what coverage options are available to you?


Navigating the world of Medicare can be confusing, but we're here to help. Read on for everything you need to know about enrolling in Medicare as a retiree.


Medicare Age and Still Working?


Many people continue to work full-time past the of age 65. If this is you or your spouse and there are over 20 people employed at your company, you are not required to sign up for Medicare and the employer must continue to offer coverage to both the employee and the spouse. That said, due to the rising cost of health insurance, employers have been juggling the huge task of paying for benefits and continuing to offer good coverage. In today's insurance climate, it is not uncommon to see higher deductibles combined with higher participation percentages. It's a great idea to compare Medicare cost and coverage vs the employer plan to see which makes more sense.


Woman 55+ Preparing to Retire

When You Turn 65, You Become Eligible for Medicare


When you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare, a federal health insurance program. It’s designed to provide coverage for hospital and medical insurance, as well as prescription drug coverage. With Medicare, you can obtain quality healthcare from doctors and providers who accept Medicare payments all across the U.S., making it a valuable tool for staying healthy after 65. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Medicare covers only up to 80% of certain medical costs, so there are instances when out-of-pocket costs may be necessary in order to cover the remaining fees. Regardless of any expenses not covered by Medicare, it is an incredibly useful program that can help millions of Americans combat the expensive cost of healthcare.


You Have to Enroll in Medicare During Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)


The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the right time to sign up for Medicare. If you do not enroll at this time, you may have to wait until a later period or end up paying extra fees. Your IEP generally starts three months before your 65th birthday and continues three months afterward, giving you seven months in total to complete your enrollment. You can apply online or access the resources of your local Social Security Administration office if you'd like help signing up. Keep in mind that Part A coverage is usually free, but you will need to pay for Parts B, C, and D separately. It's essential to consider all of these parts carefully before beginning the registration process.


There Are Four Parts to Medicare - Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D


Medicare is the national health insurance program run by the US government. It consists of four parts that provide coverage for different medical needs and services. Part A covers hospital care, including inpatient and outpatient services. Part B covers doctor's visits, preventive care, ambulance services, lab tests, durable medical equipment, and more. Part C is a type of private Medicare policy offered as an alternative to Parts A and B. Lastly, Part D covers prescription drugs with various tiers of coverage depending on the plan you choose. Medicare can provide a great deal of financial protection against substantial medical costs, so it is wise to speak to an insurance consultant to explore your options under each plan before making a decision.


Make Sure You Understand All the Costs Associated With Medicare Before Making Your Decision


Deciding on a Medicare plan can be a complex process, and it is important to take into consideration all the costs that come with it. Premiums, deductibles, and copayments are some of the top expenses associated with Medicare plans. Other healthcare-related costs such as coinsurance, medication costs, lab tests, and durable medical equipment also need to be taken into account when selecting your Medicare coverage. Keep in mind that different plans offer varying levels of coverage, so be sure to read the fine print carefully before making your decision.


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Get Help With Medicare


Medicare can be very confusing, and navigating it alone can be a real headache. You need not go through all the hassle. Our independent Medicare insurance agents are on hand to walk you through the entire process. Have a question or two on Medicare or need help signing up? Connect with a Medicare agent now.

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