Entering into Medicare is not only an important milestone, but it’s usually a relief as well, because this coverage is likely more affordable than other options. Not only that, but the coverage is very comprehensive, especially when one of the many private Medicare plans are added to Parts A and B of Original Medicare. Find out what the Illinois Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans are in this brief guide.
Most of the eligibility and entry requirements are set at the federal level, including entry into Part A and Part B. The entry requirements for the private plan options can vary at the state level. We'll cover entry into Parts A and B first, since you have to have this coverage in place before you can enroll in a private plan.
Most people enter Parts A and B when they turn 65, but there can be a few situations that will allow you to enter earlier:
There is no minimum age for entry into Medicare due to these circumstances.
It’s also possible that you won’t enter Medicare (Part B anyway) until some time after your 65th birthday. This would happen if you kept working past age 65 and you remained covered by your employer plan (or your spouse’s employer’s plan). In this case, you might enter Medicare Part B years or decades after your 65th birthday.
No matter when you actually get to enter Original Medicare, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll in a private Medicare plan at the same time.
The requirements for entry into a private Medicare Plan are in most cases the same as for Original Medicare. In fact, you can’t get private coverage without having Part A and Part B in place.
Standalone drug plans under Part D have the easiest eligibility requirements. You have to be actively enrolled in either Part A or Part B; only one of them. There is no minimum age, so you can get drug coverage even if you enter Medicare early.
Medicare Advantage plans have slightly more restrictive requirements. You have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. With Medicare Advantage, there is also no age requirement. You can get Medicare Advantage earlier than age 65 without any difficulty.
Medicare Supplement Insurance (or Medigap, as it’s frequently called) is a slightly different story. While most of the Medicare rules are regulated at the federal level, the rules for entry into Medigap are set at the state level. The rules for Medicare Supplement Insurance for people under age 65 fall into three different categories:
Illinois falls into the last category. They require Medigap insurers to offer coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of age. They also put caps on how much they can charge people who enter Medicare before age 65.
As you can see, Illinois Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans are among the most liberal in the country. If you enter Medicare early, you’ll have full access to all private plans available.
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