When To Enroll In Medicare
If you’re turning 65 or have a disability, it’s important to know about the initial enrollment period for Medicare. This is the time when you can first sign up for Medicare and choose the coverage options that are right for you.
The initial enrollment period is seven months long, starting three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ending three months after. If you have a disability, you can enroll in Medicare during the 25th month of receiving Social Security disability benefits.
It’s important to enroll during your initial enrollment period, because if you don’t, you may be subject to late enrollment penalties for Part B and Part D. These penalties can add up over time, making your Medicare coverage more expensive.
During your initial enrollment period, you can choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare is a fee-for-service program that’s run by the federal government, while Medicare Advantage is a private insurance option that provides at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare.
If you choose Original Medicare, you’ll need to sign up for Part A and Part B separately. Part A covers hospital stays and other inpatient care, while Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, and preventive services.
If you choose Medicare Advantage, you’ll still have Medicare coverage, but your benefits will be provided by a private insurance company. Medicare Advantage plans often include prescription drug coverage, and may offer additional benefits like dental, vision, and hearing coverage.
If you’re not sure which option is right for you, it’s a good idea to talk to a licensed insurance agent. They can help you understand the differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and help you choose the coverage options that will best meet your needs and budget.
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