Medicare Faqs And Information To Consider
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Federal Retiree benefits, your enrollment in Medicare is automatic. Your Medicare card should arrive in the mail shortly before your 65th birthday. Check the card when you receive it to verify that you are entitled to both Medicare Parts A and B.
Initial Enrollment Period:
If you are not eligible for Automatic Enrollment, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or enroll online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or visit the nearest Social Security office to enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. You have a seven month window in which to enroll in Medicare without incurring a penalty. If youre not automatically enrolled in premium-free Part A, you can sign up for it once your Initial Enrollment Period starts. Your Part A coverage will start six months back from the date you apply for Medicare, but no earlier than the first month you were eligible for Medicare. However, you can only sign up for Part B during the times listed below.
General Enrollment Period:
- General Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts A & B
If you have coverage through a current employer, you are not required to enroll in Medicare Part A and B. Below are some things to keep in mind about each part of Medicare.
Alternative Meal Delivery Programs
Other meal delivery programs are available nationwide with similar objectives wanting to help those who need it most. There may be government or health plan assistance available to your area, for some these services are cost-free or very inexpensive and affordable. Individuals over the age of 65, with disabilities, and/or need help while grocery shopping/preparing meals, should seek alternative programs for meal delivery services.
Medicaid members and members of health insurance plans that cover meals on wheels could qualify for other programs. The Social Security Administration of your state will determine eligibility for Medicaid. However, eligibility is automatic if youre receiving supplemental security income, work first family assistance, or special assistance .
Qualifying due to income must demonstrate that theyre incapable of preparing meals by themselves. This can be because of illness or medical conditions, preventing them from taking care of themselves or those with disabilities or incapacitation.
People without the help of another to prepare their meals or food will also qualify for Medicaids home food delivery program. A refrigerator or freezer to properly store your meals is mandatory to receive services.
Medicare and Medicaid recipients should contact their case manager about eligibility and state rules. Your case manager can send authorizations to these companies once they confirm youre eligible.
- Was this article helpful ?
How To Enroll In Medicare
If you aren’t yet receiving Social Security benefits but would like to enroll in Medicare, you can do so by creating a My Social Security account and applying through the Social Security Administration benefits page.
FYI: If you’re currently receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare and should receive your Medicare card and welcome packet in the mail three months before your 65th birthday.
If you’d prefer to enroll by phone, you can call the SSA toll-free at 800-772-1213. If you have hearing loss, call the toll-free TTY number, 800-325-0778. Representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Your First Chance To Sign Up
Generally, when you turn 65. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period. It lasts for 7 months, starting 3 months before you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Avoid the penaltyIf you miss your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period, you may have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage. The penalty goes up the longer you wait. You may also have to pay a penalty if you have to pay a Part A premium, also called Premium-Part A.
What You Don’t Know About Medicare That Could Hurt You
Medicare is a complicated program however, once you’re equipped with the right information, you can enroll knowing you’re getting the most out of your Medicare plan! Before you enroll, watch the video below with our Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Hoyt, as he covers topics you might not know about Medicare that could hurt you.
No : Closing The Gaps
The Part A deductible is currently $1,316 per year, and the Part B deductible is $183 this year. On top of that, you risk unlimited costs in Part A after you’ve used up your lifetime reserve days, and you’ll always be on the hook for 20% coinsurance for Part B services, regardless of your annual spending. To reduce the likelihood that injury or illness will deal a big blow to your budget, consider a Medigap plan. Medigap plans charge monthly premiums, but they help pay healthcare costs when Medicare falls short. Sometimes, Medigap even gives you coverage when you’re traveling outside the United States. You’ll need to be enrolled in original Medicare, though. Medigap isn’t available if you have Medicare Advantage.
Home Health Care Services Covered By Medicare
As opposed to standard in-home care, home health care is considered skilled nursing care and thus is covered by Medicare. A range of home care services falls under the benefit. Some of the covered home health care services include:
- Skilled Nursing Care: This includes all care services that must be carried out by registered or licensed nurses, such as medication administration and monitoring of your vital signs. Medicare only covers intermittent nursing services, which means part-time. There are time limits on how many hours per week and/or days per month of care that Medicare will cover.
- Therapy Services: Often needed when recovering from an illness or injury, this includesrehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy and speech-language pathology.
- Medical Social Services: Medical social services involve counseling to help seniors deal with the emotional and social impact of their illness or injury.
- Medical Supplies: Any medical supplies related to the condition for which youre being treated, such as catheters and wound dressings, are covered by Medicare. Durable medical equipment like wheelchairs may be partially covered.
Its important to note that even when the above criteria are met, Medicare never covers full-time home health care. If you need around-the-clock care and cannot financially support full-time, in-home health care without Medicare, a skilled nursing community may be a better option.
Don’t Miss: How To Calculate Medicare Tax
What Are Cases When Medicare Automatically Starts
Medicare will automatically start when you turn 65 if youve received Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months prior to your 65th birthday.
Youll automatically be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 if you get benefit checks. According to the Social Security Administration, more than 30% of seniors claim Social Security benefits early.1 For those seniors, Medicare Part A and Part B will automatically start when they reach the age of 65.
When do You Get Your Medicare Card?
You can expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your birthday. Your Medicare card will come with a complete enrollment package that includes basic information about your coverage. Your card wont be usable until you turn 65, even though youll receive the card before that time.
What Are Your Costs?
Keep in mind that youll still have to pay the usual costs of Medicare, even though youre automatically enrolled. Once your Medicare is active, the cost of your Part B premium will be deducted from your Social Security or RRB benefits.
What If You Already Enrolled in Medicare?
What about Medicare Supplement ?
What If I Switch to Medicare Advantage?
What I Have Part A?
How To Apply Online For Just Medicare
If you are within three months of turning age 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly Social Security benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up just for Medicare and wait to apply for your retirement or spouses benefits later. It takes less than 10 minutes, and there are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required.
To find out what documents and information you need to apply, go to the .
Recommended Reading: What Medicare Supplement Covers Hearing Aids
No : A Shrinking Donut Hole
A quirk in how Part D plans are designed means you end up paying more for your prescription drugs when your total drug spending falls between set levels. In 2017, this coverage gap, or donut hole, occurs when your spending is between $3,700 and $4,950. In the past, you paid 100% of drug costs in the donut hole. However, cost-sharing in the donut hole is shrinking. In 2018, if you end up in the donut hole, you’ll be responsible for 35% of the cost of covered Part D brand drugs and biologics and 44% of the costs for generic drugs. Cost-sharing will continue declining until 2020 when it levels off at 25% of covered Part D drugs.
Who Qualifies For Medicaid
Your first step in qualifying for Medicaid is to be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident to be eligible for full benefits. Qualification for Medicaid is based on income. Whether you have a disability, the size of your family, and your age also factor into your eligibility. Though the qualifications vary by state, both your assets and your income are taken into consideration. Some older adults may qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.
Quick Tip: Visit our guide to the Medicaid look-back period to learn how this policy can impact your eligibility for Medicaid.
Medicaid qualifications change year to year, so even if you didn’t qualify in the past, it doesn’t mean you never will. If your financial situation changes or your state expands Medicaid, you may qualify in the future. Unsure if you meet the eligibility requirements for Medicaid? Help is just a phone call away through your state’s Medicaid agency.
You May Like: Who Do You Call To Sign Up For Medicare
Does Medicare Cover Meal Delivery Programs
For those who qualify, Medicare may organize with the staff to have nutritional meals brought right to your doorstep. Similarly, when returning home from a hospital stay, your healthcare provider may order delivery service for your meals. This order is good for up to four weeks.
People suffering from chronic conditions limiting their ability to feed themselves may qualify for up to 2 weeks of meal delivery services. If youre needing meal deliveries, contact your doctor directly to see if you qualify.
Paying For A Chiropractor With Medicare
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to increase Medicare coverage of chiropractic services. The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act would grant Medicare recipients access to various chiropractic services. Under the legislation, a patient would have rights to all Medicare-covered benefits.
To find a chiropractor that accepts Medicare, you can search Medicare.gov and click on Find & compare nursing homes, hospitals & other providers near you. From there, you can search by provider type and type in chiropractic under the name and keyword search. When you search by location, youll receive information about whether the provider charges the Medicare-approved amount and accepts Medicare.
Did You Know: At least a quarter of people enrolled in Medicare have supplemental policy coverage. Read my guide to help you find the Best Medigap Plan D.
You May Like: Are Hospital Beds Covered By Medicare
Healthmarkets Can Answer Your Medicare Eligibility Questions
If you are eligible for Medicare and are ready to shop for a plan, HealthMarkets can help. We make it easy to compare plans, get free Medicare quotes, and enroll. Answer a few short questions and to see what kind of Medicare plan might work best for your lifestyle, and which plans make the best fit. Get started now.
Does Medicare Start On My 65th Birthday
Medicare usually starts on the first day of your birthday month, unless you choose to defer enrollment due to employer coverage. For example, if you were born on July 22, 1955, your Medicare can start as soon as July 1, 2020. If you wait to enroll after July 1, Medicare will start the first day of the following month after you apply. Learn more at When Does Medicare Coverage Start
Also Check: Does Medicare Pay For Blood Pressure Cuffs
Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Oct 15 Heres What To Know For 2022
Medicares fall enrollment period runs through Dec. 7 and is a time for people to review their coverage. But researchers say few take the opportunity and may wind up with unanticipated costs.
Medicares annual fall enrollment period, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is a time for seniors to review their coverage and make changes for the coming year.
Although there arent any major updates to Medicare for 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a reminder that it is critically important to have an insurance plan that meets your needs.
For many, the pandemic has brought on lifestyle changes, such as retiring or moving to be closer to family, since travel has been discouragedto limit the spread of the virus. Others may simply be more keenly aware of how much health care costs and concerned about being caught without the right plan, should they get sick.
Its so important people take their time to do their research, said Chris Orestis, president of Retirement Genius, a company that advises seniors on retirement and Medicare enrollment. They get the opportunity to make the adjustments when their needs have changed.
» READ MORE: Medicare open enrollment 2022 questions answered
Yet a majority of people with Medicare do not review their coverage during open enrollment, according to a new analysis of 2019 Medicare data by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medicare members may also want to consider how their plan covers services related to COVID-19:
Medicare Open Enrollment Is Over But Some Seniors Still Have Options For Changing Their Coverage
Seniors on Medicare don’t all have the same coverage. While Parts A and B provide the same benefits for all enrollees, those on original Medicare get a choice when it comes to their Part D prescription-drug coverage. And those who sign up for Medicare Advantage get to choose their specific coverage, as well.
Each year, Medicare enrollees are given an opportunity to make changes to their coverage during the program’s open-enrollment period, which runs from mid-October through early December. This year’s open-enrollment period wrapped up earlier in the week, so many seniors are now locked into their plans for the entirety of 2022. But some seniors may still have an opportunity to make changes to their coverage if they’re not satisfied with it.
You May Like: Does Medicare Pay For Ensure
What Are The Eligibility Requirements For A Kaiser Silversneakers Membership
The first requirement of a Kaiser Permanente SilverSneakers membership is being eligible for Medicare Advantage. That means being enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.
Once youre eligible for Medicare Advantage, you must then be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan offered by Kaiser Permanente. You may only enroll in plans that are sold in the area in which you live, and Kaiser sells plans in the following areas:
If you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Advantage and live in one of the areas serviced by Kaiser Permanente, you may be able to enroll in a plan with a SilverSneakers benefit.
Connecting with a licensed Medicare insurance agent is a good way to navigate the process of finding and enrolling in a plan. If Kaiser does not sell Medicare Advantage plans in your area, an agent can help you find a similar plan sold by another carrier that does include SilverSneakers or a related fitness program.
Remember, you may only enroll in a Medicare Advantage planat certain times of the year, such as during your Initial Enrollment Period , the Annual Enrollment Period or a Special Enrollment Period .
When Does Medicare Not Automatically Start
Medicare will NOT automatically start when you turn 65 if youre not receiving Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months prior to your 65th birthday. Youll need to apply for Medicare coverage.
Theres no such thing as a Medicare office enrollment in the program is handled by the Social Security Administration . If you have to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B on your own, you can visit your local Social Security office.
You can also online by following the instructions at the Social Security Administration Medicare Benefits web page. In most cases, signing up online will take ten minutes.
Also Check: Does Medicare Pay For Dtap Shots
When Does Medicare Start Your Coverage If Youre Automatically Signed Up For Medicare
Typically, youre automatically enrolled in Original Medicare if youre already receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you turn 65 or qualify by disability.
If youre not automatically enrolled in Medicare, the date Medicare coverage begins depends on when you enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B .
- If you enroll in Medicare the month before your 65th birthday, your Medicare coverage will usually start the first day of your birthday month.
- If you enroll in the month of your 65th birthday, your coverage will generally start the first day of the month after your birthday month.
- If you enroll a month after you turn age 65, coverage usually begins two months after you signed up.
- If you enroll two months after you turn age 65, coverage typically begins three months after you signed up.
- If you enrolled three months after you turn 65, coverage usually begins three months after you signed up.