Most people will automatically enroll in Medicare when they turn age 65. About 3 months before you turn age 65 you will be notified by Social Security that you have been enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare Supplement Plans in Georgia
When you enroll in Medicare you should be aware that Medicare does not cover all your medical needs. Medicare only covers about 80% of your health care expenses. Unless you have a Medicare supplement plan you will be responsible for paying Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copay’s. This can amount to several thousand dollars in out of pocket expenses.
Most people will purchase a Medigap plan at the same time they enroll in Medicare. These Medicare supplement plans are all standardized and assigned a letter, A through N, which makes it easy to shop and compare plans.
Your Medigap open enrollment period is generally the 6 months that starts on the first day of the month in which you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During your initial enrollment period, an insurance company must sell you any Medigap policy it sells and cannot charge you more for your coverage because of health problems or make you wait for coverage to begin.
After your initial enrollment period, you may still apply for Medigap coverage, but the insurance company can refuse to cover you because of medical conditions or the insurance company may require that you pay higher premiums. There are certain situations when you are still guaranteed issuance of a Medigap policy, even after the open enrollment period.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is an insurance plan provided by a private insurance company. It includes Part A and Part B type coverage and may include additional benefits.
When you enroll in Medicare you can sign up for an Advantage plan if you choose. Medicare Advantage plans share these characteristics.
- Your plan is administered by a private insurance company, not Medicare
- Unlike original Medicare, most Advantage plans have doctor and hospital networks
- If you use providers that are not in your plans network your out of pocket costs are considerably higher
- Medicare Advantage plans are characterized by low premiums and high out of pocket costs
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
Prescription drug coverage (Part D) is available to everyone that is enrolled in Medicare. Outpatient prescription drugs are not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. When you enroll in original Medicare you should consider a separate Part D plan.
You can join, switch, or drop a Medicare Part D drug plan at these times:
- When you are first eligible for Medicare (the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn age 65, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn age 65).
- If you get Medicare due to a disability, you can join during the 3 months before to 3 months after your 25th month of disability. You will have another chance to join 3 months before the month you turn age 65 to 3 months after the month you turn age 65.
- Between October 15-December 7 each year. Your coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year, as long as the plan gets your enrollment request by December 7.
- Anytime, if you qualify for “Extra Help” or if you have both Medicare and Medicaid.
When you enroll in Medicare, if you have any questions about your Medicare options, give us a call. While others talk, we listen.