When you reach age 65, you gain an advantage – you are eligible for Medicare. If you already have health insurance through your employer, through your spouse, or purchased as an individual, it can help to know how Medicare will affect that health insurance.
When you sign up with Medicare, it is advised that you get assistance from a local insurance agent, as the process can be confusing. If you already have a doctor you trust, you want to ensure that any changes to your plan will allow you to continue seeing your current physicians or specialists.
Medicare: How it Works
Medicare works with a range of other insurance providers to pay your medical bills. How payment is worked out will vary, depending on your health insurance plan. When you shift to Medicare at age 65, you have many choices on arranging your health insurance. Understanding the basics of how it works can help you come to a decision that works best for you.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A covers a range of medical needs, including:
- Hospital care
- Care in a skilled nursing facility
- Medical care in nursing homes
- Hospice care
- Home health care
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers several other types of medical needs, including:
- Ambulance service
- Medical equipment
- Inpatient and outpatient mental health services
- Clinical research studies
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C, or a Medicare Advantage Plan, are bundled plans offered by private health insurance companies that meet all Medicare requirements. These plans provide the coverage of Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, and often Medicare Part D (drug plans), and may include added benefits such as coverage for hearing, vision, dental, or preventative medicine such as health and wellness programs. You may want to review what is offered through your current health insurance company and purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan. This allows you to remain in the same healthcare network as your existing health insurance.
Medicare Part D (Medicare Drug Plans)
Medications can be extremely expensive, so you should consider including a Medicare Drug Plan when you arrange your health insurance when you reach age 65. Sign up for this insurance in the first year, because if you do not, the price increases.
What if I am Still Employed?
If you are still employed and your employer has more than 20 employees, they are legally required to continue paying for your health insurance. You are required to take Medicare, but it is well worth reviewing your options at that time. You can have both Medicare and a group health insurance plan, and the two will work together to cover the costs of care.
If you are nearing age 65 and need help with Medicare, you can speak to one of our helpful agents. Navigating the system can be confusing and complicated, and once you make a choice, you must live with it until the next Medicare enrollment period. You want to arrange your health insurance so it works best for youth a reasonable cost. Let us help you make the right decision.