Nothing will help you prepare for Medicare better than making a solid plan. The most basic component of your plan should be to understand the rules about eligibility and entry into the program. Everything else to do with your plan will build on this. Read this quick guide to Maine Medicare eligibility requirements for 2023 plans to get a jump start on making your plan.
Since your plan should begin with figuring out when you’ll enter Medicare, we’ll start with a review of the rules for eligibility and entry.
Medicare is available to all Americans who are either citizens or permanent legal residents. Permanent legal residents must have legally resided in the country for five years in order to be eligible. Besides the basic requirement, there are also rules that govern when you’ll enter the program. In other words, there are two slightly different kinds of rules for Medicare:
The majority of Americans enter Medicare at age 65. In this case, you’ll also have to determine whether your enrollment will be automatic or not. Your enrollment will probably be automatic if you’re already receiving Social Security retirement income when you turn 65. If you’re not, you’ll have to sign up for Medicare manually.
If you’re scheduled to enter Medicare at 65, but you’d rather delay your benefits, you’ll have that right as long as you work for an employer or union with more than 20 employees. In this case, you’ll be able to enroll in Medicare Part B whenever your employer or union health insurance ends.
It’s also possible that you can enter Medicare early, before turning 65. This will happen automatically if you meet any of these criteria:
Whenever you enter the program, this will also be your trigger to choose and enroll in one of the private Medicare insurance plans available to you. The rules for entering these plans are slightly different than for Original Medicare.
If all you want to add is prescription drug coverage, you can enroll in a private Part D standalone Prescription Drug Plan. To do this, you only need to be enrolled in either Part A or Part B. You can be any age to do this, even younger than 65.
If you prefer to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, which can combine drug coverage with Part A and B health insurance benefits, you must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. However, there are no age requirements; you can get Medicare Advantage coverage even if you enter Medicare before turning 65.
The last private option available to you is Medicare Supplement Insurance. To get this coverage, you’ll also have to be active in both Part A and Part B. Unlike many other states, Maine requires insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement insurance with affordable premiums to all Medicare beneficiaries, even those who enter Medicare before age 65.
After you’re up to speed on the Maine Medicare eligibility requirements for 2023 plans, you can move on to the rest of your coverage planning.
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