The prospect of entering Medicare can stir up two competing feelings: relief that you're going to have access to affordable health insurance, and fear at the prospect of figuring out such a complicated system. In this short article on Georgia Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans, we’ll start with the very basics of getting into the program. From there, you’ll be well on your way to having a plan in place to make the most of your Medicare coverage.
The basis for your health care during your retirement years will be Medicare. And, while Original Medicare (Part A and Part B together) offers good coverage, chances are you’ll add a private Medicare insurance plan to your coverage mix. Since Part A and B is the foundation of your coverage, though, we have to make sure you’re up to speed on the eligibility and enrollment process first.
There are three main times of your life that you’ll have the opportunity to enter Medicare:
Your enrollment into Medicare Parts A and B will be automatic if you qualify for it before you turn 65. This will happen if any of these circumstances apply to you:
Your enrollment into Medicare will be automatic in these cases; enrollment is handled through the Social Security program.
When you gain Medicare eligibility due to turning 65 years old, your enrollment may be automatic if you’re already receiving Social Security retirement income. If you’re not receiving Social Security yet, you’ll have to manually sign up.
On the other hand, you may want to delay taking Part B at 65. You might do this if you’re covered by your employer’s plan and you intend to keep working. As long as your employer has at least 20 employees, you should be able to safely delay taking Part B. You’ll likely have to sign up for Part A, but this probably won’t cost you anything in terms of monthly premium.
If you want to take Part B, or if you have to because you’re no longer going to be covered by an employer plan, you’ll have a seven month enrollment window. You can sign up for Parts A and B during this enrollment period. Once you’re signed up for Parts A and B, you’ll be able to enroll in the private Medicare Insurance plan of your choice.
When it comes to enrolling in your private Medicare Insurance plan, you’ll have no problem getting a Medicare Advantage plan or standalone Prescription Drug Plan, no matter how old you are when you enter Medicare.
This isn’t quite the case with the other major private option: Medicare Supplement Insurance. There is no federal requirement that insurance companies offer Medicare Supplement coverage to people under 65 years of age.
While Georgia is one of the few states that require insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement to people under 65, it doesn’t restrict how much they can charge for this coverage. Since people only get into Medicare before age 65 because of a major disability or illness, the premiums for under-65 coverage are usually very high; most people would find them unaffordable.
If you find that to be the case, not to worry; you’ll be able to get a Medicare Supplement plan in Georgia once you turn 65, even if you have pre-existing conditions. Not only that, but you’ll be able to get this coverage at a much lower price than when you were under 65. It’s one of the few circumstances where your health premium gets lower at a higher age.
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