If you have reached or are nearing retirement age, you are probably wondering about your Medicare eligibility. You may be asking, “Do I qualify for Medicare?” “What does Medicare cover?” “What are the Medicare eligibility requirements?” As important as these Medicare eligibility questions are to you, you also have better things to do rather than worry over them. After working for many years, it’s time to relax, enjoy your grandchildren, travel and play. Relax, take a moment, and you will find the answers to your basic questions right here.
Q. Do I qualify for Medicare?
A. Individuals generally meet eligibility requirements if they are 65 years or older and
- Qualify for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits
- Or have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement DISABILITY benefits for at least 24 months
- Or suffer from end-stage renal disease.
Individuals who elect retirement at age 62 are not eligible for Medicare until they turn 65, even if they qualify for Social Security or Railroad Retirement. Individuals who are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and postpone retirement to continue working after age 65 can begin receiving Medicare benefits at age 65.
Q. What does Medicare cover?
A. There are 4 different parts of Medicare that help cover specific services.
- Part A is hospital insurance which helps cover inpatient care, hospice care, nursing facility care, and home health care.
- Part B is medical insurance which helps cover doctor bills, outpatient care, medical equipment, and home health care
- Part C is Medicare Advantage which replaces Parts A and B and is run by approved private insurance companies. Part C might cover prescription drugs as well as other benefits at an added cost but is not a guaranteed renewable policy.
- Part D is purchased Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage which helps cover or lower the cost of prescription drugs.
If you find that you do in fact meet Medicare eligibility requirements, you should note that it only helps to cover health care costs. If all you have is Medicare, then you will have added out-of-pocket expenses. For this reason, it is important that you consider the added safety net of Medigap insurance. As the name implies, Medigap fills in the gaps that Medicare leaves behind.
Medigap Supplement Insurance is private health insurance that pays copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Each standardized Medigap policy must offer the same benefits no matter which insurance agency sells it. An independent agent will list the costs of each policy for which you are eligible and give you the information that you need to make an educated and economical decision.
Remember all of the benefits must be the same for the same plan, so the primary difference is the price. An independent agent has no dog in the fight, so their only concern is to get you the best deal possible. When you meet the Medicare eligibility age of 65 you have a one-time open enrollment period during which insurance companies have to sell you Medigap insurance at regular rates even if later you would not qualify. If you want the comfort of knowing that you are as fully covered as possible during your retirement years, fill out the form to request Medicare supplement quotes for more information. Then relax and go play. You’ve earned it!!
AARP posted video entitled The Tough Choices: Medicare Reforms – Inside E Street
- Click here to request your Medicare supplement quotes
- Click here to learn about Medicare Supplement Plan F
Find the government Medicare Eligibility Tool here.