Preparing for Medicare is often seen as little more than deciding between Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage. While this is a very important decision, focusing on it exclusively can be a problem if you don’t pay attention to when your coverage is supposed to start. If this creeps up on you, you may run out of time to make a sound decision. In this article, we’ll review the Oklahoma Medicare eligibility requirements to help you get ready to enroll.
Before you can enroll in a private Medicare Insurance plan, you have to be active in the Medicare program. These rules are set at the federal level. Eligibility for the program is considered separately from your entry into the program. In other words, though most Americans are eligible to participate, for the most part you can’t actually begin using your benefits until you reach age 65.
There are some exceptions, however. You can enter Medicare before 65, regardless of your age, if you meet any of these criteria:
In addition to getting your Original Medicare benefits early in this case, you’ll also have the chance to choose and enroll in a private Medicare insurance plan when you enter early.
While many people do get to participate before age 65, it’s much more likely that you’ll become eligible to enter at age 65. These people will have a seven month window during which to enroll in Parts A and B. The window opens three months before the month you turn 65.
In some cases, you may be automatically enrolled in Medicare. This will happen if you enter before age 65 and also if you have chosen to receive your Social Security retirement benefits at or before turning 65.
If you become eligible to enter at 65, you can choose to delay taking your Part B benefits if you plan to stay covered by your employer plan. If you’re automatically enrolled, you’ll have to cancel your Part B coverage and send your Medicare card back. If you’re not automatically enrolled, you can simply not enroll in Part B. However, your employer plan may require that you activate your Part A coverage.
Oklahoma is one of relatively few states that include important protections for people who enter Medicare before age 65. Federal law doesn't require insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement Insurance to people younger than 65. However, Oklahoma requires them to offer at least one of the standardized plans. Not only that, but they limit how high the premiums can be, which is rare.
The eligibility rules for Part D prescription drug plans are very simple: you must be enrolled in either Part A or Part B. There are no age restrictions.
As for Medicare Advantage, Part C, you have to have both Part A and Part B. But, there are no age requirements for this coverage either.
The Oklahoma Medicare eligibility rules are very generous, which makes it a favorable state to get your Medicare benefits from.
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