If you aren’t sure how to apply for Medicare in 2018, then we want to clear up any misconceptions for you and show you what the process is like, when you can sign up and who is eligible to apply for this government medical insurance.
The Application Process
Medicare has made it quite simple to sign up for Medicare. All you need to do is visit their website and fill out the short form there. It should take you about 10 minutes or less to fill it out completely. Then, you just submit the form and wait to do anything else until you receive a reply. If you have questions during the signup process, then you can talk to a Medicare employees for some help, but most people get through the process quickly and easily.
Once you have submitted your application form, Medicare will review it for you. It may take a few weeks or even months to get a reply back, but if you have been approved, then you will see a Medicare ID card show up in your mailbox later. Once it does, that means you have been approved and you can start to utilize your Medicare coverage.
If there is some problem with your application or you have been denied enrollment, then Medicare will contact you for additional information or ask you to apply again later, when you qualify.
So, Who Qualifies for Medicare in 2018?
Well, you only have to meet some very minimal requirements to become eligible for Medicare and to be approved for a plan of your choice. You have to be a US citizen and at least 65, in most cases to qualify. That’s really all there is to it, and most people who meet those two criteria are approved.
However, people under 65 may also apply and be approved for Medicare. In particular, we are referring to anyone who has suffered kidney failure or who may have a disability. These people can be approved for Medicare before they hit age 65.
Despite popular belief, you do not have to be retired or facing retirement to qualify for Medicare. Many people continue to work well after age 65 and well after they have signed up for Medicare. Your employment status has nothing to do with your eligibility for this medical insurance, however, how long you worked can determine how much you pay or don’t pay for your premiums for Medicare.
Your Financial Obligations with Enrollment
You will need to pay a monthly premium on your Medicare insurance. How much you pay is tied into how long you worked before you applied. On top of that, you will need to pay a yearly deductible for Medicare Part B, which is included in Original Medicare and Medicare Part C. You can opt out of Part B, if you wish, but most people find that it is worth the cost.
You will also need to pay copayments on your plans. These are typically due whenever you go to visit the doctor’s office or the hospital. You need to know about all these costs when you learn how to apply for Medicare.
If you find that Medicare is too expensive for you, then you may qualify for a reduced rate or for Medicaid, which is essentially Medicare for lower income applicants. Don’t let your financial difficulties get in the way of you getting the medical insurance coverage that you need. There are options out there to help you.
When You Should be Applying
There are certain times when it is considered acceptable to apply for Medicare. There is a set time each year, known as general enrollment, where anyone who is eligible can apply. This occurs from the first day of the year until the end of March. Once that period is up, you may not get another chance to apply for a while.
You can also apply during what is called Open Enrollment. This comes once each year and usually falls during November and December. During Open Enrollment, you can sign up for all those other Medicare plans besides Original Medicare, such as Advantage Plans, Part D and Supplement plans.
You can apply around your 65th birthday as well. You don’t have to wait until the exact day your turn 65, either. You can apply up to three months before your birthday and for up to three months afterwards, no matter what time of year your birthday falls. This is when most people are going to sign up, and that gives you a large enough window of time that you should be able to find the plan you want and make sure that Medicare is right for you.
What You Can Apply for in 2018
Most people sign up for original Medicare which includes Medicare Part A and Part B. These usually come packaged together, but if you want, you can purchase the parts separately. You can also add coverage for Part C and Part D, if you wish.
That Original Medicare, though, is designed to cover a lot of the most basic healthcare costs for you. It covers expenses both in and out of the hospital, as well as nursing care, ambulatory care and even visits to your doctor.
If you sign up for a Medicare plan and you ar not sure if you are covered by that plan, then you can always ask your doctor or your insurance agent before you agree to any medical service. You can then make an informed decision about whether that service is something you need or can afford.
Most healthcare facilities around the country accept Medicare and will allow you to be covered under your plan. It is one of the most widely accepted medical insurance plans in the country, and now that you have learned how to apply for Medicare in 2018 you can decide whether it is good choice for you. Just be sure to sign up during one of those windows we mentioned to make sure you can be covered when you need that insurance.