Getting Started with Medicare

November 9, 2016

If you will soon turn 65 years old, or if you already have, you will enroll (or will be automatically enrolled) with Medicare.  It can be overwhelming in the beginning with so many Plans, set at different costs and offering different coverage options, but doing some research and becoming familiar with Medicare Insurance Plans is part of getting acclimated to retirement life.

Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Sign up for Medicare

This step involves finding out if you are eligible for Medicare, and finding out if you will be automatically enrolled with it, or if you will have to enroll yourself.  You can find out if you are eligible by using the eligibility calculator given on the Medicare website: https://www.medicare.gov/eligibilitypremiumcalc/

With this calculator you will get an estimate of: if you are, or when you will be eligible for Medicare; whether you will be automatically enrolled, or will have to sign up; and how much you will have to pay as a premium.

  1. Choose what coverage you want

You can choose between two main Medicare Plans: Original (Part A and B), or Advantage (Part C).  Some people can, in addition to these Plans, enroll with Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).  Details about the plans can be found here: https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/decide-how-to-get-medicare/whats-medicare/what-is-medicare.html

Make sure you search each Plan in detail by browsing and exploring the websites www.medicare.gov or www.medigap.org, or seek expert advice by contacting the digital insurance agency e-TeleQuote Insurance Inc.

  1. Complete the following in the first year
    • Fill out an Authorization Form: This is to give permission to your family or friends to call Medicare, and seek information from your Plan on your behalf.  Medicare will not give your personal health information to anyone other than you without your authorization.
    • Take the time for a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit appointment: This is a free comprehensive orientation and consultation session, which provides you information about your health Plan.
    • Sign up for MyMedicare: This is a secure, online service through which you can access your personal information any time.  You can track your health care claims; view your health plan notices; order a replacement of your insurance card; check your deductible status; view your eligibility status for various Plans and find more information on them; track your preventive services (preventive measures like flu shots or mammograms); and find and maintain your health information in one place.
    • Find out what your Plan covers: Make sure you know what tests, medical items, services, hospitals, doctors and networks are covered by your Plan.  If something you need is not covered, talk to your Plan provider.
    • Download the e-TeleQuote Health Companion: This is a mobile application that works on both iOS and Android platforms.  It gives complete information on Medicare Plans; facilitates in-app calling and Plan enrollment; offers a health kit that monitors blood pressure and diabetes, tracks calories, and sets medication reminders; and provides health tips for a healthy lifestyle.

Sources:

https://www.medicare.gov/people-like-me/new-to-medicare/getting-started-with-medicare.html

https://www.medicare.gov/people-like-me/new-to-medicare/5-things-to-do-in-your-first-year-with-medicare.html

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