If you’re getting close to entering Medicare, it’s important to understand when your Part A and B coverage will actually begin. This is the first step in solidifying your Medicare coverage as you approach retirement. In this short article, we’ll review some of the Kentucky Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans.
The basis for all Medicare coverage, whether you ultimately choose a Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medicare Advantage plan, is Original Medicare. Original Medicare refers to the government-administered health insurance program available to all citizens of the United States and permanent legal residents. Original Medicare is comprised of Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, medical insurance. These two coverages provide very comprehensive coverage at an affordable price.
Just because you’re eligible for Medicare doesn’t mean that you get to enroll in it right away; something has to trigger your entry into the system. You can enter Medicare for four possible reasons:
If your entry is triggered by the illness or disability criteria, your age doesn’t matter. You can enter Medicare at any age in those cases.
The majority of Americans enter Medicare when they turn 65. When this is the case, your enrollment into Part A and Part B may be automatic, depending on whether you’ve elected to receive Social Security retirement benefits. If you are taking those benefits when you turn 65, your Medicare enrollment is automatic. If you’ve delayed taking Social Security beyond age 65, your enrollment won’t be automatic and you’ll have to sign up manually.
While you probably can’t delay taking Part A at 65, you may be able to delay Part B if you’re planning to keep working and your employer coverage is lower cost than Medicare. As long as your employer has at least 20 employees, you’ll be able to safely delay Part B. If you do end up delaying the start of your Part B benefits, you’ll get a special opportunity to enroll whenever your employer health insurance comes to an end.
Whenever you end up entering Medicare Parts A and B, you’ll also have the chance to get the private Medicare coverage that best fits your needs at that time as well.
Once you’re active in Part A and B, you can enroll in the private plan of your choice. The eligibility requirements for these plans are generally the same as for Part A and B.
The biggest discrepancy between the private eligibility rules and Original Medicare occurs with Medicare Supplement Insurance, which is also referred to as Medigap. The discrepancy relates to people who enter Medicare under 65. There is no federal requirement that insurance companies issue Medicare Supplement policies to people younger than 65. This provision is left up to each state. In Kentucky, there are no regulations requiring insurance companies to issue Medicare Supplement Insurance to people younger than 65. This leaves the other two private plan types for people who are in Medicare but younger than 65.
For standalone Prescription Drug Plans, you need to be enrolled in Part A or B. You don’t have to be active in both at the same time. There are no age limitations or restrictions for drug plans.
The rules for Medicare Advantage (Part C plans) exactly match the rules for Original Medicare. You must be active in both Part A and B in order to choose a Medicare Advantage plan. Age isn’t an issue here; you can enroll at any age.
Now that you have the facts about Kentucky Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans, you should be able to start making your coverage plan for 2022 and beyond.
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