If your enrollment into Medicare is causing you some stress, it can be helpful to review the basics of the program as far out from your entry as possible. By reviewing aspects of Medicare such as eligibility and entry, you can know, in advance, when your benefits will begin. This will allow you to make a plan with plenty of time before your enrollment. Read this quick article to get a refresher on the West Virginia Medicare eligibility requirements.
While there are many intricacies to Medicare, a focus on the simple things like eligibility and entry is important because your enrollment into Original Medicare is the foundation for all of the other Medicare plans. For instance, in order to add Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) or prescription drug coverage, you have to already have Parts A and B. Once you know with confidence when your coverage will begin, you can then consider the specifics of the extra coverages you need.
So, when will you be able to enter Medicare? Assuming that you’re eligible to participate (most Americans are), you’ll have to experience a triggering life event to begin using your benefits. There four main triggers:
The standard trigger is turning 65 years old, but if you meet one of the other three criteria, you’ll be able to enter Medicare early, before turning 65.
If you have to wait until you turn 65, you need to know that your enrollment into Parts A and B could be automatic. This will be the case if you’ve chosen to take Social Security retirement benefits at or before age 65. But, if you choose to take Social Security after your 65th birthday, you will need to enroll in Medicare on your own.
You can enroll in Parts A and B at any time during your Initial Election Period (IEP). Your IEP lasts for seven months, and it is centered on the month that you turn 65. You can enroll any time during your enrollment period, but if you want your coverage to start as soon as possible, you should enroll during the first three months of your IEP.
Your enrollment into Parts A and B will trigger your opportunity to get the private Medicare plan of your choice. The West Virginia Medicare eligibility requirements are slightly different for each of the major types of plan.
To enroll in Medicare Supplement Insurance, you have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. In West Virginia, insurance companies are not required to offer Medicare Supplement Insurance to people who get Medicare prior to turning 65. But, if you enter Medicare at 65 or later, you can easily enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.
To get Part D drug coverage, you only have to be enrolled in either Part A or Part B. There are no age restrictions for drug coverage.
If you prefer to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you have to be enrolled in both Parts A and B. You can get Medicare Advantage coverage at any age, even if you start Medicare before turning 65.
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