The months leading up to Medicare enrollment can be a very stressful time for people. The need to enroll and choose the best plan can cause even the most even-keeled person to feel stress. The best way to alleviate this is to make a wise plan in advance of your enrollment. Read this short article about the Massachusetts Medicare eligibility requirements.
What people usually feel the most stress about is choosing a private Medicare plan, like Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Insurance. While this is an important choice, it can be a mistake to focus on this issue too early. Instead, you’ll want to make sure you understand the rules about Original Medicare eligibility and entry. Once you’re in the Medicare program, then you can switch your focus to private options.
The basic rule for eligibility is that you have to be a citizen or permanent legal resident in order to gain admission to the Medicare program. The timing of your entry is a separate question.
Most people get the chance to enroll in Parts A and B when they turn 65, but there are four scenarios where you’re entry will be either before 65 or later than 65:
If you’re able to enroll in Medicare early because you meet one of the disability or illness criteria, you’ll be automatically enrolled. If you qualify at age 65 and you’re already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, your enrollment will also be automatic.
On the other hand, if you qualify because you turn 65 (and you’re not taking Social Security), or if you delay taking Part B past age 65, you’ll have to manually enroll. You can do this online or at a local Social Security office.
Once you have a good fix on how the enrollment process works, and when you can expect to enter Part A and B, you can switch your focus to the private plans available to you.
In order to get Part D drug coverage, you only need to be enrolled in Part A or Part B.
To get Medicare Advantage coverage, you have to be enrolled in both Parts A and B of Original Medicare.
The rules for Medicare Supplement Insurance, sometimes called Medigap, match those for Medicare Advantage in the state of Massachusetts; you have to have both Part A and Part B.
In the case of all three kinds of private Medicare coverage, your age is not a factor for enrollment; you have full choice even if you enter Medicare before age 65. This is a valuable benefit, since federal rules allow States to restrict Medigap coverage to people age 65 or older. Massachusetts has very consumer-friendly rules for Medicare plans.
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Participating sales agencies represent Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO, PFFS, and PDP]organizations that are contracted with Medicare. Enrollment depends on the plan’s contract renewal.
Enrollment in the described plan type may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.