In order to make the most of your Medicare benefits, you’ll want to make a plan that takes into account when you’ll enter the program. Knowing when you’ll become eligible to use your benefits will help you make a good plan for your benefits. Your Original Medicare eligibility is the foundation for adding a private Medicare insurance option. In this brief article, we’ll look at the Maryland Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans to help you with your preparations.
You must be actively enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B in order to add a private plan. Most people enter Medicare around the time of their 65th birthday. For people who qualify to enter Medicare at 65, there will be a seven month enrollment period. This is technically known as the Initial Election Period (IEP). Your IEP will span:
You’re able to enroll in Medicare at any time during this window. In fact, your enrollment may even be automatic if you’re already receiving Social Security retirement benefits. If you’re not taking Social Security by the time you turn 65, you will have to enroll in Medicare manually. You can enroll online, by phone, or in-person.
Of course, it may be that you’re not ready to start Medicare right at age 65. This could be the case if you intend to keep working and you’ll remain covered by an employer health insurance plan. In this case, you can hold off on taking Part B; you’ll probably need Part A even if you keep your employer coverage.
You’ll be able to enroll in Medicare Part B when your employer coverage comes to an end. Even if this happens years after your 65th birthday, you can enroll in Part B without any difficulties.
As soon as you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, whether you sign up right at 65 or if you delay your Part B, you’ll have the ability to choose a private Medicare plan.
All of the private Medicare plans offer the ability to enhance your coverage or lower your out of pocket spending. The eligibility rules for the three different kinds of plan are slightly different. Let’s review the rules for each of them.
For Medicare Advantage, which is also known as Part C, you’ll have to be actively enrolled in both Part A and Part B. There are no other requirements besides this. You can get Medicare Advantage coverage at any age, even when you’re younger than 65
Standalone drug plans have only one enrollment requirement: you must be active in either Part A or Part B. You don’t need to be in both. There’s also no age requirements for drug coverage.
To be eligible for Medicare Supplement Insurance, you’ll need to be enrolled in both Part A and B of Original Medicare. If you’re younger than 65, though, you may not be able to find a Supplement plan that works for you. That’s because federal law doesn't require insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement Insurance to people under age 65.
While Maryland does have some protection for people under age 65, your choices may be very limited. Besides this, premiums for people under age 65 can be much more expensive than for people age 65 and older. If you meet the Maryland Medicare eligibility requirements for 2022 plans, but you’re under age 65, you may want to choose a different private plan until you turn 65.
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