In case you’re not aware, Medicare is the United States federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. Consider most chronic diseases and high-risk medical conditions manifest at a later stage in life. These are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars we’re talking about — let the government pay for it.
Really, unless you’ve been saving all your life to take care of your every medical need as a senior citizen, you need insurance, and Medicare is the best public alternative. There’s a catch, though.
Don’t sign up late
As stated on Medicare’s website, your first time to sign up to Medicare lasts six months, three months before your turn sixty-five and three months later. This is plenty of time to enroll, but missing the deadline is more common than you think.
People not signing up to Medicare in time has led the authorities to impose heavy late enrollment penalties, and the penalties go up the more you wait. Besides, your insurance premium might go up to over 10% every year just for signing up late. All these costs add up, making life increasingly difficult.
There’s still hope
If you’re reading this, chances are you missed your first chance to sign up for Medicare, but there’s good news. You might just be in time to skip the penalties. Try to sign up between January 1st and March 31st during the Special Enrollment Period. Of course, if you miss this one, you’ll have to wait an entire year.
There’s another way to work around penalty fees; if you or your spouse stopped working in the last eight months, you might still be eligible to sign up for Medicare with no extra premiums or penalties.
What does Medicare cover?
There are two parts to Medicare, Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital insurance, basically, and it covers the cost of being admitted to a hospital, including nurses and basic health services. For this one, you pay a deductible every year — after that, the government pays the rest.
Part B of your Medicare is a monthly fee — this one’s the premium. This is the one that can get considerably more expensive if you don’t sign up for Medicare on time. Part B covers physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, wheelchairs and other stuff you might need later.
Now you know, so be smart and join Medicare in time
Medicare is not perfect; we all know that, but it’s a great alternative to cover medical costs, especially if you’re not working anymore. And sure, not everyone feels they need to sign up to Medicare at 65 but missing your opportunity might be costly in the long run.
Make sure you take care of all the paperwork in time and forget about penalties and high premiums. After 65, life should be all about enjoying yourself and not worrying about payments and stuff. Contact the Medicare professionals if you have any doubts.