Is your golden age just around the corner? If you’re approaching your retirement years, it’s time to get serious about your medical care. With people living longer and longer, you need to preserve your youth and health as you reach this milestone.
Medicare is a federally-ran program that provides medical insurance to those 65 and older. Medicare steps in at this age to take care of almost all of your healthcare needs, and this can be a real lifesaver. From knowing what Medicare covers to understanding how to maximize it, this guide will help you keep an eye on your health in your golden age with Medicare. Let’s get started.
Start Thinking Early About Medicare
There’s a lot going on that can get in the way, especially when it comes to healthcare. However, you don’t want to wait until the last minute to think about Medicare. The best time to start thinking about this program and your coverage is in your early 60s. There are a lot of choices and decisions you’ll need to make, so getting a head start will make sure you don’t miss anything along the way.
You’ll need to start thinking about the following:
- What doctors will you need to see, and are they covered under your Medicare plan?
- What prescription drugs do you need coverage for?
- Do you have a health savings fund for your retirement?
- Do you need travel insurance as you enter your golden years?
- What type of coverage do you expect to need?
Familiarize Yourself with the Parts of Medicare
One of the biggest aspects that confuses people about Medicare are the different parts. Right now, let’s take a minute to explain the different parts and how they all work together to create Medicare as we know it.
Part A and B are also known as original Medicare. Part A covers your hospital insurance, including things like inpatient care and nursing homes. Part B covers outpatient care, including doctors’ services and home healthcare.
Part C is a bit different. This is also known as Medicare Advantage, and it’s an alternative option to Original Medicare. These plans are offered by private insurance companies, and they offers Parts A, B, and D through a single plan. HealthMarkets has more information about the best deals on Medicare Advantage.
Finally, Part D is your prescription drug coverage. There are different plans offered, and each one offers different coverage for different medications which is why it’s important to know what type of medications you’ll need when signing up.
Know Your Enrollment Window
Another important thing to know about Medicare as you enter your golden age is that Medicare coverage isn’t automatic. Unless you’re already on Social Security, you won’t be automatically enrolled in the program.
You’ll need to be aware of your specific Medicare enrollment window. This window begins 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after. You’ll need to make sure you don’t miss this window or you could face a penalty fee.
Medicare Is Growing Rapidly
Finally, keep in mind that Medicare is rapidly growing. There are currently over 44 million beneficiaries, and this number will only continue to rise as the aging population increases. Why does this matter? This new number is a good indication that Medicare will continue to develop and change.
There’s a lot of discussion and debate about the future of Medicare. Many people believe it won’t be along for much longer, while others thing the benefits will change. While much of this will have to do with our legislation, it’s important to educate yourself about the trends related to Medicare so you can stay protected.
Are You Ready For Medicare?
As you can see from this list above, there’s a lot to know about Medicare. Luckily, you’re now in a position to make smarter choices about your own healthcare as you age, whether you’re retiring now or in a few years.
Making the most of Medicare isn’t always simple, but it is possible with the right preparation. Your heatlh is the most important thing you have. Don’t lose it in your golden years.