If you've reached the age of 65, then there's a good chance you're thinking about applying for Medicare benefits. This is especially true if you're planning on retiring or have recently retired, thus having lost your existing insurance benefits from your employer. Before you apply for Medicare, there are some things you should know to ensure that you end up with the coverage you need.
DO Know When Open Enrollment Is
First of all, understand that Medicare is just like other insurance options in that you need to sign up during the open enrollment period. Typically, the open enrollment period lasts for about a month, and coverage will begin on the first of the following year. However, there are situations where you may not need to wait until open enrollment to sign up, so know what your state's requirements are regarding this.
DON'T Be Concerned About Past Health Problems
The nice thing about Medicare is that you don't have to worry about past or pre-existing health problems having an impact on whether you're approved or not. So long as you meet the basic eligibility requirements for Medicare, you will be approved and this will have nothing to do with your health. Furthermore, your premiums cannot increase or decrease based on your health, which is nice to know for added peace of mind.
DO Consider a Supplemental Insurance Plan
Keep in mind that while Medicare will help to cover a lot of your medical expenses, it is not designed to be your only form of health insurance and it will not cover everything. This is why it's always a good idea to shop around for a supplemental insurance plan, which will provide you with the additional insurance you need to cover prescriptions, treatments, and procedures that may not be covered under your Medicare policy. Supplemental plans aren't required, but they can provide needed peace of mind.
DON'T Assume That Your Coverage is Free
Last but not least, understand that in most cases, you will need to pay a premium for Medicare. It will likely not be a large premium, but for most people, Medicare coverage is not free. Even though you paid into Medicare while you were employed, the system was not designed to be a free entitlement. Instead, you will likely need to pay a small monthly premium for your coverage, but this can vary depending on your income and other factors.
Contact a local insurance company, like Continental Insurance Agency, LLC or a similar location, for more help and info.