When Medicare is on your horizon, it can be difficult to know what to do, given all of the rampant advertising and the ocean of information available online. While it’s good to dive into the details, it’s important to start with a firm foundation in the basics. The most basic information you need to know is if you’re eligible, and when you’ll enter Medicare. Read this quick article to learn the details of South Dakota Medicare eligibility and entry.
Original Medicare is split into two parts:
These two coverages combine to give you very comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. However, they don’t provide 100% coverage, so you’ll have to pay some costs out of pocket. They also leave some kinds of services uncovered. Because of these facts, many Americans choose to add Medicare Supplement Insurance to their benefits. In order to get this coverage, though, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare.
You’ll be eligible for Original Medicare if you are a citizen of the United States or a permanent legal resident. If you qualify on the basis of being a permanent legal resident, you have to have legally lived in the country for at least five years.
Now that you know if you’re eligible, you’ll need to know when you will actually have a chance to enter the system so that you can use your benefits. You’ll get this opportunity when one of these life events happens:
In three of these cases, you’ll have the chance to get your Medicare coverage “early” - before you turn 65. In most cases, though, you’ll have to wait until you turn 65 to get your first chance to enter Parts A and B of Medicare.
When you qualify to start Medicare at age 65, you’ll enter what’s called your Initial Election Period (IEP). This is your opportunity to enter Parts A and B, although you may want to hold off on signing up for Part B if you’ll still be covered by your employer plan. You can do this without penalty as long as your employer has more than 20 employees.
If you want your Part A and B coverage to start at 65, you’ll have to know if your enrollment will be automatic or not. You’ll most likely be automatically enrolled only if you’re already taking Social Security retirement benefits by the time you turn 65. If not, you’ll have to enroll manually.
Medicare Supplement Insurance rules can vary from state to state because the federal government leaves some of the provisions up to the individual states. Specifically, some states don’t require insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement Insurance to people under 65 years of age. South Dakota is one of the states that does require insurance companies to provide Medicare Supplement Insurance to people who enter Medicare before age 65. They also provide some protection from high premiums, which makes this a state with rich benefits, regardless of which age you are when you meet the South Dakota Medicare eligibility requirements.
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