As you get nearer to Medicare entry, it’s very important to have a good understanding of the basics of the system. By doing this, you can enroll without stress and make sure you maximize your benefits. If you focus on the specifics of your eligibility and the time period during which you’ll enroll, you’ll be able to have plenty of time to get ready in advance. You can read this short article to learn about the Virginia Medicare eligibility requirements.
Because of the popularity of coverage like Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) and Medicare Advantage plans, most people actually think about these coverages when they think of Medicare. While those are important tools to help you lower your out of pocket spending on health care, it’s important that you know from the beginning that you have to first enroll in Original Medicare to get those coverages. This means Part A and Part B of Medicare.
To be eligible for these, you have to be a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent legal resident. Whether you were born a citizen or if you obtained citizenship through naturalization makes no difference. If you meet one of these simple criteria, you can be certain that you’ll have the chance to get Medicare coverage.
To use your benefits from Part A and B, you have to officially enter the program. Entry into Medicare is triggered by one of several life events. Your coverage can’t start until one of the following happen:
As you can see, it’s possible to get Medicare coverage before you turn 65. However, it’s more likely that you’ll have to wait until turning 65 to enter Medicare.
You might automatically enter Medicare at 65 if you’ve already taken your Social Security retirement benefits by that time. If you have chosen to hold off on Social Security, you will need to enroll in Medicare manually.
You can manually enroll in Parts A and B during your Initial Election Period (IEP), which is an enrollment period that lasts seven full months. It will begin three months before your 65th birthday month and close three months after you turn 65.
Once you enroll in Medicare, you can then select the private Medicare Insurance plan of your choice.
If you want to add Part D prescription drug coverage, you simply need to be enrolled in Part A or Part B of Original Medicare.
To get Medicare Advantage coverage, you have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B.
For Medicare Supplement Insurance, you also have to be active in both Parts A and B. While Virginia is one of the states that require insurance companies to offer Medicare Supplement coverage to people who enter Medicare before age 65, you may find it unaffordable. Virginia doesn’t regulate how much insurers can charge people under 65, so the premiums tend to be very high. If you meet the Virginia Medicare eligibility requirements before turning 65, you might want to wait until you actually turn 65 to get Medicare Supplement Insurance. You’ll have an Open Enrollment Period at that time, and the coverage will be more affordable.
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