Medicare is arguably one of the most important steps to take when you reach 65. Without the help of Medicare, most seniors would not have medical coverage. At age 65, Medicare becomes your health insurance. To ensure you don’t pay large out-of-pocket fees when you hit this age, it is essential to know the top 5 aspects about enrolling in Medicare.
Free Medicare for Seniors
The increasing price of healthcare is a growing concern among many seniors across the nation. Thankfully, the most basic aspect of Medicare, Medicare Part A, is free for most individuals.
Medicare Part A is your inpatient hospital insurance. In the event a doctor ever admits you to the hospital for any reason, Part A ensures that you get the coverage that you need. If you worked at least 10 years or 40 quarters in the United States, you are among the many individuals that will receive Part A at no cost. You will receive a free Part A because you paid Medicare taxes during those 10 years, essentially paying for your coverage over time.
Fast and Easy Medicare Enrollment
When you become eligible for Medicare, most individuals are automatically enrolled in the program. Because most get Part A for free, there is usually no work you have to do to complete Part A enrollment.
Most people are also automatically enrolled in Part B as well, but you might have to elect to enroll in it. Because Part B is not free, you must pay a premium to have this coverage. While you can decline this coverage, we recommend all seniors enroll in Medicare Part B. This is because Part B is your outpatient coverage, and you would need this type of coverage for any doctor visit or other types of treatment you would get while not admitted in a hospital setting. Without this coverage, you may be subject to high out of pocket fees.
In addition to covering most medical expenses, Medicare also has many additional benefits that beneficiaries can use. For example, Medicare offers free visits for services such as depression screenings, diabetes counseling, and other routine services. In some cases, you might have to pay a small fee if there is any testing involved. Your doctor will notify you if this is the case.
Medicare Supplement Plans
While Medicare Part A may be free, it is important to note that Medicare only pays a portion of all of your medical expenses. For example, if you are a hospital inpatient, Medicare will cover 80% of the medical-related expenses during your stay. You would be responsible for the remaining 20%. This is commonly known as the Medicare “gap,” or a portion of expenses Medicare leaves for the beneficiary to pay.
Thankfully, there are ways to have these expenses covered at 100%. With a Medicare supplement plan, beneficiaries don’t have to pay the gaps in coverage. The Medicare supplement plan would cover the remaining 20%, depending on the plan you choose to enroll in. This means that you would not have to pay any money out of pocket for your medical expenses.
Medicare supplement plans also apply to any other Medicare-approved medical expenses that Medicare does not cover at 100%. This includes outpatient doctor visits, routine tests, and more. Usually, it is recommended to get a Medicare supplement plan in addition to Original Medicare Parts A & B due to the large amount of savings most beneficiaries receive over time. The monthly premium for these plans typically totals to be much less than out of pocket medical expenses.
Dental, Vision, and Hearing Insurance
Unfortunately, there are parts of your medical needs that Medicare does not cover. This includes any dental, vision, or hearing care. To get coverage for these types of services, you would need a separate Dental, Vision, and Hearing coverage plan. There are some exceptions to this. For example, some Medicare Advantage or TRICARE plans will cover dental, vision, and hearing needs. There are downsides to these plans, as you might have limited doctor access or expensive premiums.
With a Dental, Vision, and Hearing plan, you will have coverage for routine dental cleanings, crowns, fillings, hearing aids, eye exams, and surgeries. These services become increasingly important as you age, so it is important to pick up this type of coverage as soon as possible.
We Can Help
If you are in the process of enrolling in Medicare and are ready to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan, we can help. Get your free Medicare supplement quote online, or give one of our agents a call at (800) 310-2550.