There have never been more options to maximize the benefits that come with Medicare coverage. The number of private plans like Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Prescription Drug Plans has exploded over the last ten years. Choosing the right plan is an important part of your health care plan. In order to make a plan, though, you have to have confidence that you know when you’ll enter Medicare. Read this short guide to learn about the Indiana Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans.
Before you can take advantage of any of the private Medicare Insurance plans available to you, you’ll first have to enroll in Original Medicare. Original Medicare refers to Parts A and B, which provides hospital and medical insurance. Original Medicare functions as your basic coverage; any private option, if you choose one, will work with and enhance this basic coverage.
While it is possible to enter Medicare before age 65 if you qualify on the basis of disability or certain illnesses, most people get their first chance to enter when they turn 65. If you qualify to enter at age 65, your enrollment may be automatic. If you’ve elected to receive your Social Security retirement benefits by the time you turn 65, you’ll enter Part A and B automatically.
If you’re not taking Social Security by that time, you’ll have to sign up manually. This is easily done. Signing up online through the Social Security Administration is easiest and quickest, but you can also sign up in person or by phone.
If you have to sign up manually, you’ll have a seven month enrollment window to do so. This window, which is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), begins the first day of the month that is three months before your birthday month. Your IEP ends on the last day of the third month after the month you turn 65. You can enroll at any time during these seven months.
If you fail to enroll during this window, you won’t have another chance until the Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP), which is from January 1st to March 31st of each year. You may also be subject to a late enrollment penalty.
Enrolling in Parts A and B is just the start for most Americans. Most people add at least one private coverage to their Original Medicare Benefits.
Medicare Advantage plans combine Part A and Part B coverage with a prescription drug benefit. You can enroll in one of these as soon as you’re actively enrolled in both Parts A and B. There are no age requirements for Medicare Advantage plans.
Alternatively, you can elect to stay in Original Medicare and add only a standalone Prescription Drug Plan to your coverage. If you do this, you only need to be actively enrolled in either Part A or Part B. There are no minimum age requirements for Part D drug plans.
The last private coverage available is Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, Insurance. Medigap works with Original Medicare by filling in most of the gaps in Part A and B. Some of the eligibility details for Medigap coverage are set by the individual states. Indiana is one of the states that require insurance companies to offer Medigap to all Medicare beneficiaries, even those under age 65. However, Indiana doesn’t require that insurers issue policies to those under 65 for the same premiums as those who are 65 and older. Because of this fact, Medigap premiums for those under 65 tend to be much higher than for people who are 65 and older.
Now that you have a good grasp on Indiana Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans, you can be prepared to enter with a smart plan.
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