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Iowa Medicare Eligibility Requirements for 2023 Plans

If you’re approaching Medicare, it’s important to make a good plan for your coverage. With so many different options, though, it can be difficult to know what to do. One way to avoid this overwhelm is to look at the very basics of the program. Once you grasp the basics, it will be easier to make your Medicare coverage plan. To help you do that, we’re looking at the Iowa Medicare eligibility requirements for 2023 plans in this quick article.

What Are The Iowa Medicare Eligibility Requirements For 2023 Plans?

The basics of Medicare eligibility fall into two categories:

  • Being eligible for the program at some point in time, and
  • Actually entering the program and using your benefits

In order to be eligible to have Medicare coverage at some point in the future, you only have to meet one of two criteria. You must be either:

  • A United States citizen (whether born or naturalized), or
  • A permanent legal resident who has legally lived in the U.S. for at least five years

If you meet either of these criteria, you’ll be able to participate in the Medicare system. When you actually enter the program will depend on experiencing a “trigger” - a life event that triggers your entrance into the program. There are a total of five potential triggers:

  • Turning 65 years old
  • Receiving federal disability income for 24 consecutive months, at any age
  • Being diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, at any age
  • Being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), at any age
  • Losing your employer coverage if you delayed taking Medicare Part B past age 65 (no matter how far past age 65 you are)

Regardless of which trigger applies to you, once you enter Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you’ll then have the option to sign up for one of the private Medicare plans available to you.

Iowa Medicare Eligibility Requirements For 2023 Plans - Private Medicare Insurance Options

Once you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you can then sign up for whatever private Medicare plan you’re interested in. While there are three main types of plan available, they can be mutually exclusive. This means that most people’s choices boil down to one of these:

  • Part C Medicare Advantage plan with built-in drug coverage (MAPD), or
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance plus a standalone Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP)

The eligibility and entry rules are slightly different for each of these options.

Part C Medicare Advantage Plan Rules

In order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you have to be actively enrolled in both Part A and Part B. Your age is irrelevant, even if you’re in Medicare prior to age 65.

Part D Prescription Drug Plans

The rules for a standalone drug plan are even less strict. You only have to be enrolled in Part A or Part B, not both. Once again, there are no age rules for this kind of plan. You can get Part D coverage even if you’re much younger than 65.

Medicare Supplement Insurance

The situation is more complex for Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance. Federal laws don’t require Medigap insurers to offer this coverage to people younger than age 65. Some states require them to, anyway, but Iowa isn’t one of them. While there are some Medigap plans available, they are few and far between, and tend to be very expensive. If you are younger than 65 and meet the Iowa Medicare eligibility requirements for 2023 plans, you’ll likely want to hold off on Medigap until you actually turn 65. Once you do, you’ll be able to get it for a much more affordable rate, and with many more available options.

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