Original Medicare provides comprehensive coverage that’s designed to be affordable to people in and near retirement. It’s not perfect coverage, though; there are a number of expenses that you’re expected to pay. Because of this, many people choose to add Medicare Supplement Insurance to their Part A and B benefits. In this short note, we’ll review the Nevada Medicare eligibility requirements for both Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Whether you’re interested in adding Medicare Supplement Insurance or not, the first step in putting your coverage into place is to enroll in Original Medicare, Parts A and B.
You’ll be eligible for Medicare if you’re a citizen of the United States, whether natural born or naturalized. You’ll also be eligible for Medicare if you’re a permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. legally for at least five years.
Once you know whether you’re eligible for Medicare, it’s time to figure out when you’ll be able to enroll and start using your Medicare benefits. Most Americans have the right to enter Parts A and B when they turn 65 years old. For those people, there are two ways to enter Medicare:
Whether you’re slated to enter automatically or not, you need to decide whether you actually want your coverage to begin at 65. Many people choose to delay taking Part B if they’re still working and covered by an employer or union plan. In this case, you’ll delay starting your Part B benefits until your employer or union coverage ends. When that happens, you’ll have the ability to enroll in Part B during a Special Election Period.
If you do start taking Part B at age 65, you’ll have a seven month enrollment window in which you can sign up (if your enrollment isn’t automatic). The seven month window starts three months before the month in which you turn 65. If you don’t enroll during this time, you could be subject to late enrollment penalties. To avoid these, simply make sure you enroll on-time.
Once you’re active in both Medicare Parts A and B, it’s time to take a look at Medicare Supplement Insurance.
To enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, which is also called Medigap coverage, you must be enrolled in both Part A and Part B of Original Medicare. Not only that, you have to continue to pay your Part B premium. If you’re 65 when you enter Medicare, you’ll have no problem enrolling in a Medigap plan.
If you start Medicare early because you qualify based on illness or disability, you may not be able to get Medigap coverage in Nevada. Federal law doesn’t require insurance companies to give Medicare Supplement coverage to people younger than 65. This criteria is set at the state level. Nevada doesn’t have a law that regulates this, so there are few, if any, Medigap insurers who offer coverage to people younger than 65.
If you’re younger than 65 when you meet the Nevada Medicare eligibility requirements, you might need to look at the other private Medicare plans: Prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Neither of these have minimum age requirements.
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