If the thought of entering Medicare makes you tired and confused, it can be helpful to review the basics of the program and make a plan for your enrollment. By focusing on the basics like eligibility and the timing of your entry into Medicare, you can be more prepared and confident in your coverage options. Read this guide to the North Dakota Medicare eligibility rules to get a jump start on your planning.
The foundation for all Medicare benefits is Part A and Part B. These two Parts together make up Original Medicare. Original Medicare is a government health insurance program that’s designed to offer affordable health insurance for seniors. Because of this, most people enter Medicare at age 65.
However, there are several ways in which you can enter early. These include:
If you meet any of these criteria, you’ll enter Medicare right away, no matter how old you are, even if you’re years away from turning 65.
As stated previously, entering Medicare before age 65 is the exception and not the rule. Most Americans don’t enter until they turn 65. In this case, you have a seven month enrollment window during which to enroll in Parts A and B.
In some cases your enrollment will be automatic. This will happen if you’re already taking Social Security when you turn 65. You won’t need to do anything in this case. If you’re not taking Social Security until after 65, you will have to enroll manually. You can enroll online, by phone, or in-person at a local Social Security Office.
Even though you’ll likely have the chance to enter at age 65, you may not want to do that if you plan to keep working and you’ll remain covered by your employer’s health insurance plan. As long as your employer has more than 20 employees, you can safely delay taking Part B. You’ll probably have to get Part A, but since you’ve likely worked full-time for at least ten years, you shouldn’t have to pay a monthly premium for this coverage. Whenever your employer coverage comes to an end, you’ll have the chance to enroll in Part B.
When you enter Original Medicare for the first time, you’ll also have a chance to enroll in a private Medicare Insurance plan, too.
Once you have a Medicare number, it’s easy to enroll in the private Medicare plan that most appeals to you. The rules for entering these plans are quite similar to those for entering Medicare.
To get drug coverage from a Part D prescription drug plan, you have to be enrolled in either Part A or Part B. As long as one of these is active, you can get Part D drug coverage, even if you’re younger than 65.
For Medicare Advantage coverage, the rules are slightly more restrictive. You have to be active in both Part A and Part B. But, you can also be younger than 65 and easily enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Supplement Insurance is slightly different. You have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. The age restrictions are not set at the federal level, though, so each state has its own rules. In North Dakota, most insurance companies do not offer Medicare Supplement Insurance to people under 65. For people who satisfy the North Dakota Medicare entry rules before turning 65, Medicare Supplement Insurance may not be available until you turn 65.
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