The thought of entering Medicare causes stress for many people. You can avoid or reduce much of this stress by having a plan for your coverage in place before you enter the Medicare system. Making a plan starts with the very basics of the program. To help you get started, read this short guide to Louisiana Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans.
Your plan for coverage will likely include some kind of private insurance coverage to enhance your Medicare benefits. The three kinds of private Medicare plan available are:
Before you can choose one of those, however, you first need to be actively enrolled in Original Medicare. Original Medicare, which is split into Part A and Part B, is the basic health insurance benefit; any private coverage modifies the basic benefits built into this program.
Most Americans are eligible for Medicare. There is only one basic requirement: citizenship. You will be eligible for Medicare if you are either a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent legal resident. As long as you meet this requirement, you’re eligible to enter the program at some point in the future.
When you actually have the right to enter is a separate question. Most people enter Medicare when they turn 65, but there are three ways that you can get coverage before that age:
With any of these disability or illness provisions, you can enter Medicare at any age.
If you don't qualify for early entry, you’ll have a chance to enroll when you turn 65. You can choose to delay your Part B benefits if you’re still going to be covered by an employer or union health insurance plan. If you do this, you’ll have the chance to enroll in Part B (you’ll likely take Part A at 65 even if you keep working) when your coverage ends.
If you want to enroll in Medicare at age 65, you’ll have a seven month enrollment window during which you can enroll. The seven month window begins three months before the month you turn 65.
As soon as you’re active in both Part A and Part B, you can then think about enrolling in whichever private Medicare plan you prefer.
The three private options have slightly different rules for eligibility. The easiest option is Part D drug coverage. To enroll in a standalone drug plan, you need to be active in either Part A or Part B. There is no other requirement; age is irrelevant.
For Part C, Medicare Advantage plans, you have to be active in both Part A and Part B. There is no age requirement for these plans either; it’s easy to get coverage if you enter Medicare before age 65.
In Louisiana, it might be very difficult to get Medicare Supplement Insurance prior to age 65. This is because federal law doesn’t require insurance companies to offer this coverage to people who enter Medicare early. If you enter Medicare before age 65, you’ll probably have to choose between a Part D drug plan and a Part C Medicare Advantage plan.
Now that you’ve read about Louisiana Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans, you should have a good grasp of when your coverage will start.
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