The golden gate lowers for individuals who turn 65 years old, triggering eligibility for Medicare. Three months before your 65th birthday, you are able to enroll in Medicare as well as during the open enrollment period which takes place between October 15th and December 7th. Any enrollments/changes made at this time will be effective January 1, 2018.
Medicare open enrollment begins October 15th & ends December 7th
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a health insurance program provided by the government that most people over the age of 65 qualify for. There are also younger individuals who qualify for Medicare if they have disabilities or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
What are the different parts of Medicare?
There are four parts of Medicare available: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D.
Part A: Hospital insurance – covers most inpatient hospital services, some skilled nursing home care, and hospice services. If enrolled in Medicare, you automatically obtain Part A as part of your insurance. If you automatically qualify for Medicare (such as through your or your spouse’s Social Security record), there is no monthly premium required for Part A coverage.
Part B: Medical Insurance – covers services with doctors, outpatient hospital care, outpatient speech and physical therapy, some health care, ambulance services, and varying medical equipment/supplies. Part B is optional.
You must apply for Parts A & B before applying for Parts C or D. Part A is automatic & Part B is acquired by applying through the Social Security Department.
Part C: This is a Medicare Advantage Plan (combines parts of Medicare into an HMO or PPO plan with a private insurer). If enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you receive all medical services through that plan.
Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Stand-Alone plan with private insurer) – offers assistance with prescription drugs. This is optional coverage and monthly premiums depend on how much coverage a person has.