1) Make sure you're eligible for Medicare.
The Medicare eligibility rules can be confusing. A call to Social Security at (800) 772-1213 or going to www.medicare.gov can help you with that determination.
2) Make sure you sign up for Medicare on time.
The rules related to this depend upon whether you will continue working or not. Be aware that penalties may be charged if you do not sign up on time.
3) Make sure you sign up for Medicare Part B on time.
Most people should sign up for Medicare Part B but not everyone. If you choose not to sign up for Medicare Part B and later decide you should have, you could incur lifetime penalties and gaps in your coverage.
4) Make sure you either sign up for Medicare Part D or a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage on time.
Once again, if you choose not to sign up on time, you could incur very costly lifetime penalties.
5) If you're employed, determine if you should either continue your company insurance or your company's COBRA plan if you're retiring.
This may be your most difficult choice. If you don't make the correct decision, you could pay too much in premium. In addition, you could incur penalties and gaps in coverage.
6) Do you have other benefits available to you like Veterans Benefits or TRICARE?
There are rules that you need to consider when making your Medicare choices.
7) Your income may very well affect the cost of your coverage and the kind of Medicare choices you will make.
There are several ways you might be able to get help lowering the cost of your premiums and out of pocket expenses.
8) Should you sign up for Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage?
The answer to this question will depend upon several things.
• Do you want to be able to choose any doctor or hospital rather than be limited by a network (HMO's and PPO's)?
• Do you want to choose your own medical specialists?
• Are you currently satisfied with the quality and convenience of your care?
• Will you travel to other states or outside the U.S.?
• Are you willing to pay deductibles and co-pays or would you prefer little or no out of pocket expenses?
• Do you need other benefits like dental care or vision care?
Your answers will ultimately help you make the right decision.
9) Choose an experienced insurance agent you can trust.
My advice to you...
Do not approach Medicare alone.
As an experienced insurance agent since 1979, I can help you make the choices that are right for you.
Click on the button below to get a free Medicare consultation with me!