Entering Medicare shouldn’t be a cause for stress, but for comfort: it is a health insurance program designed to help keep your health care costs down in retirement. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the prospect of entering Medicare. To help you get ready for your coverage, we wrote this short guide to the Vermont Medicare eligibility requirements.
The most important aspect of your Medicare coverage is Original Medicare, Parts A and B. This program will provide the bulk of your medical benefits. You will probably add some private coverage on top of this, but you’ll have to have Parts A and B first. Because of this, we’ll first review the rules about eligibility and entry into Original Medicare.
There is only one simple rule for determining your eligibility for Medicare. You simply have to be a United States citizen or permanent legal resident. Assuming that you are one or the other, you’ll be able to use Medicare at some point in your life.
People who meet the eligibility rules don’t immediately get to use their coverage. They have to enter the program first, and there are restrictions on when you can enter. Most people become eligible to get coverage when they turn 65. For those people who qualify in this way, they get an opportunity to enroll during their Initial Election Period (IEP). Your IEP lasts a total of seven months. It spans:
Your enrollment is considered to be on-time if you enroll at any point during your IEP. If you have chosen to receive your Social Security benefits by the time you turn 65, you will automatically enroll in Parts A and B. If not, you must sign up manually.
While most people get their chance to enter Medicare by turning 65, there are four reasons why you might enter before or after this:
No matter when you actually enter Medicare, this will be your chance to add private Medicare Insurance as well. Each of the three main kinds of private Medicare coverage have their own eligibility requirements.
The rules for Part D drug plans are quite simple. You have to be enrolled in either Part A or Part B. That’s the only rule.
If you want Medicare Advantage coverage, the rules are just a touch more restrictive. You have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B in order to get a Medicare Advantage plan. There are no other requirements.
The federal government allows each state to set its own rules for people under 65 and Medicare Supplement Insurance. Vermont is one of relatively few states that require insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement coverage to people who enter Medicare before turning 65. However, Vermont does not restrict the premiums that can be charged for this under-65 coverage. Because of this, if you attain Vermont Medicare eligibility before age 65, you might find Medicare Supplement Insurance unaffordable.
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