Medicare is often thought of as complicated and difficult to understand. While there are certainly many details and fine print bound up in the system, a basic familiarity with Medicare can go a long way towards helping you make good choices for your coverage. Read this quick article to get more details on the New Mexico Medicare eligibility and entry rules and regulations.
Many people in New Mexico end up adding to their Medicare coverage with a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. Since you must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B in order to get this coverage, we’ll first take a look at the basic rules for entering Original Medicare.
It is very easy to qualify for Medicare eligibility: if you’re either a citizen of the United States or a permanent legal resident who has lived in the country legally for at least five years, you are eligible. This eligibility test tells you whether or not you’ll be able to use Medicare at some point in time. You don’t get to use your Medicare benefits until something triggers your entry into the program.
The “things” that will trigger your entry into Medicare are major life events or milestones. These are the possible triggers into Medicare:
Note that you might be eligible for many years, in many cases for your entire life, before one of these events occurs. If your trigger into Medicare is diagnosis of one of the listed illnesses or if you qualify based on the disability provisions, your Medicare coverage will start before you turn 65.
Most people, though, don't get a chance to enter Medicare until they turn 65. If you are one of them, you’ll have a seven month enrollment window during which you can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Your window starts three full months before the month you turn 65. It closes three full months after the month you turn 65. You can sign up online, in-person, or by phone at any time during this enrollment window. As long as you do so, you will avoid late enrollment penalties. If you miss your enrollment window, and you don’t have qualifying employer health insurance, you may have to pay late enrollment penalties. This is one reason why it’s important to be familiar with the New Mexico Medicare eligibility rules; to make sure you enroll on-time.
To enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, you have to be actively enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. If your initial enrollment into Medicare happens at or after age 65, you won’t have any difficulties getting Medicare Supplement Insurance.
However, if you enter Medicare before age 65, you will find that your options are much more limited. Federal law allows each state to set their own rules about people under 65 years old enrolling in Medicare Supplement Insurance. In New Mexico, there are no laws requiring insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement coverage to people under 65. Because of this, there are very few Medicare Supplement plans available to people younger than 65. People who enter Medicare before 65 in New Mexico should consider Medicare Advantage coverage until they turn 65.
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