Medicare coverage plays an important role in the retirement plans of millions of Americans. If Medicare is coming up for you, it’s crucial to understand when, exactly, you’ll be able to enter. Find out about Arizona Medicare eligibility requirements in 2023 by reading this quick guide.
The eligibility requirements are generally the same across the United States, especially when it comes to initial eligibility. There are three main events that can trigger your entry into Medicare:
Most people get Medicare coverage when they turn 65. If you’re eligible to participate in the program (either because you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident), you’ll become eligible to enter the program when you turn 65.
When you enter at age 65, your enrollment will be automatic if you’re already receiving Social Security retirement income. If you are not getting these payments, then you’ll have to sign up manually. You’ll be able to enroll in Medicare during a seven month window called your Initial Election Period (IEP). Your IEP begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends at the end of the third month after the month you turn 65.
You can become eligible to enter Medicare earlier than age 65 if you’re diagnosed with either End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In this case, your entry into Medicare will be automatic as long as you’re receiving Social Security Disability Income.
The other way to get started with Medicare before you turn 65 is if you get disability income from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 consecutive months. If you do, you’ll automatically enter Medicare on the first day of the 25th month you receive that income.
Being eligible for and entering Part A and Part B of Medicare will allow you to enroll in the private Medicare plan of your choice. Since Original Medicare can expose you to high out of pocket costs for health care, most people choose to enroll in one or two of these private options:
For both Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Plans, you’ll be able to enroll as soon as you’re active in Medicare, regardless of your age. So, if you enter before age 65, you can get drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plan coverage.
However, in Arizona, you won’t be able to enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan before you turn 65. The minimum age for Medigap coverage is set on a state-be-state basis; there is no federal regulation on this.
If you live in Arizona and enter Medicare before age 65, you’ll have to decide between a Medicare Advantage plan or a standalone Prescription Drug Plan. When you do turn 65, you’ll have the right to enroll in a Medigap plan at that time.
By reviewing the Arizona Medicare eligibility requirements in 2023, you should have a good idea when your coverage will start. This will also help you make a plan for adding the private plan that will best fit your needs.
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