You know you’ll be eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, but what does that mean? More than 10,000 people age into Medicare eligibility every day, but many have questions about how to enroll and which plan will best meet their health and budget needs.
Medicare provides important benefits for people who qualify, including preventive care, hospital care and even prescription drug coverage. While there are multiple plan choices available, selecting the right Medicare plan may be easier than you think.
It’s important to note that people who are recently disabled — and haven’t turned 65 — may also qualify to enroll in Medicare. The disabled segment of the population is growing. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the disabled now total some 5 million Medicare beneficiaries. To determine if you or a family member may be newly eligible for Medicare, visit http://www.medicare.gov or call toll-free 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY: 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Enrolling in a timely manner is also important in order to avoid potential financial penalties. Equipped with the correct information, people qualifying for Medicare can select the plan that best suits their lifestyle and health care needs.
Here’s what you need to know:
Anyone who has legally lived in the United States for the past five years qualifies for Medicare at the age of 65. People eligible for Medicare have three options: Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare is broken into two parts — A and B. Medicare Part A helps cover hospital expenses, and Part B helps cover everyday health care costs like doctor visits, outpatient care and some Part B prescription medications. Both Parts A and B have a deductible, as well as coinsurance once the deductible is met.
Medicare Supplement insurance plans, sold by private insurers, can help pay some of the health care costs that Original Medicare doesn’t pay, like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. If you have Original Medicare and you buy a Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amount for covered health care costs. Then, your Medicare Supplement plan pays its share. Medicare Supplement plans, however, do not cover prescription drug costs.
Medicare Advantage plans are run by private insurance companies, and all plans cover everything Original Medicare plans pay, as well as extra benefits and services. Medicare Advantage plans often include coverage for prescription drugs, vision and dental benefits, along with fitness programs and comprehensive preventive care. More than 16 million Americans have signed up for Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Part D provides prescription drug coverage for people with Medicare. These plans are available as standalone plans or as part of an all-in-one Medicare Advantage plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans, however, are sold without Part D included.
Enrolling in the right Medicare plan is an important decision, and by understanding the facts, you can navigate the process with ease. For more information about Medicare plans and their coverage, visitwww.Medicare.gov orwww.Humana.com/medicare or call a licensed Humana sales agent toll-free at 1-844-663-8090 (TTY: 711) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.