If you're nearing your 65th birthday, it's time to start thinking about applying for your Medicare coverage. Many people don't start thinking about Medicare coverage until it's too late. You might be thinking that you can wait until the last minute to apply for Medicare. Unfortunately, that can leave you without the coverage you need for your medical care. Now that you're reaching your eligibility point for Medicare coverage, make sure you take steps to avoid mistakes. Here are three tips that will help you through the application process for Medicare coverage.
Know Your Initial Eligibility Dates
If you plan to apply for Medicare coverage as soon as you turn 65, you might be in for a rude awakening. It can take a few months to get your application, which means if you wait too long, you could miss your opportunity to apply. That's why it's crucial that you know your initial eligibility date. That's the date when you can begin the application process. You might not realize this, but your initial eligibility date begins three months before you turn 65 years old. After that, the eligibility window closes three months after your 65th birthday. To make sure you don't miss out on your opportunity to enroll, mark those dates on your calendar.
Understand Medicare Coverage Parts
If you need to apply for Medicare in the next few months, make sure you understand the actual components of the coverage. Most people don't realize that there are three separate coverage parts to Medicare. Those parts include Part A, Part B, and Part C. Parts A and B make up the basic components of your Medicare coverage. This coverage includes things like doctor's visits, hospitalization, and other basic services. Part C makes up the part that's provided by private insurance companies. This coverage includes things that aren't provided under Part A or B of the basic Medicare coverage, such as prescription medications.
Take Steps to Fill the Medicare Gaps
If you're ready to apply for Medicare, don't get left with gaps in your coverage. One big gap includes issues such as co-payments and deductibles. If you require hospitalization and you don't have Medicare gap coverage, you could end up paying a hefty deductible. Unfortunately, most people on Medicare can't afford to pay those deductibles, which is where Medicare gap coverage comes into the picture. With gap coverage, you won't need to worry about the deductibles. This coverage will take care of those costs for you.
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