Signing up for Medicare is a rite of passage once you are 65 years old. Medicare is in place to allow individuals to retain insurance coverage even after one is not getting insurance through their employer anymore. When you sign up for Medicare, you have a lot of important decisions to make in the first year that impact you not just right now, but influence your long-term medical care.
#1 Sign Up for Prescription Drug Coverage
When you sign up for Medicare, you can also sign up for prescription drug coverage. Even if you currently are not on any prescription drugs, it is still a good idea to sign-up for a prescription drug plan when you sign up for Medicare.
You can only enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription plan during specific enrollment periods. If you delay enrollment beyond the initial enrollment period, you will be charged a penalty that lasts for the entire time you have prescription drug coverage. The penalty is based on the number of months you didn't enroll in prescription drug coverage once you could have, and the fine stays with you for years.
It's worth it to avoid the long-term penalty and sign up for prescription drug coverage from the start. Plus, you don't know when you will need prescription drug coverage and medication without insurance, can be really expensive.
#2 Get a Medicare Supplement Plan Right Away
A Medicare supplement plan helps cover your out-of-pocket expenses that are part of your Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare supplement plans also allow you greater control over who your doctor is.
If you think you want to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan in the future, you are going to want to enroll as soon as possible. You will have an open enrollment period during which you can join a supplement plan without your medical history being examined or used as a disqualifier. This is the best time to sing up for a Medicare supplement plan, as you cannot be denies for a plan at this time.
When you sign-up for Medicare, make sure that you enroll in all the appropriate plans as soon as you can. Get prescription drug coverage right away; if you don't, you'll face a life-long penalty once you enroll in prescription drug coverage. When you are able to sign up for a Medicare supplement plan, consider enrolling during your first opportunity to enroll, where your medical history will not be used as a disqualifier. Contact a service, like Senior Advisors, for more help.