Medicare is a large and potentially overwhelming topic for everyone, and can be especially confusing for the people approaching 65 years old. Limited computer knowledge and low health literacy can factor into the confusion surrounding the vast maze of benefits that is Medicare. In order to help our seniors, get a head start on receiving the benefits that they have earned, here is a list of some basic things to understand about Medicare, and a resource which can help our elders start receiving their benefits.
- Waiting to sign up for Medicare can cost you in the long run. Your costs could rise up to 10% for every year you wait to enroll after you become eligible.
- To qualify for Medicare, you need to be 65 years old or older and have worked 40 quarters, or ten years. The normal enrollment time is three months before and three months after your 65th birthday.
- Medicare part A (hospital stays) are typically covered for people who have worked 40 quarters and are 65 or older.
- Medicare parts B, C, and D are optional and a person can choose to enroll in them or not.
- Medicare does not cover long term care, or dental and vision, but you can purchase supplemental insurance and/or long term care insurance if you would like these to be covered.
- The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) provides free objective information and counseling about Medicare. They can be reached at 1(800)434-0222.
Visit Medicare's website at https://www.medicare.gov/.