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Just the Essentials...
In most cases, people get Medicare Part A premium-free.
You must have Medicare Part A to get Original Medicare.
Medicare Advantage and Medigap benefits require Original Medicare, so having both Part A and Part B comes recommended.
When starting with Medicare as your health coverage, it helps to know the coverage you need and the benefits you want.
For many, transitioning into Medicare can mean access to benefits they’ve never had, or that otherwise seemed unaffordable. Namely, these benefits involve dental, vision, hearing, transportation and protection from hospital and medical expenses.
Getting these benefits from a plan first requires full sign-up for Original Medicare.
To get Original Medicare, you have to sign up for Part A, as well as Part B. Most people who worked during their lifetime get Part A without any premium cost.
Consumers can purchase Part A at a few opportunities. The Initial Open Enrollment period is the best opportunity to sign up for Part A.
It offers seven months period surrounding the earliest month coverage can start. For most, the earliest that Medicare coverage can start is their 65th birthday month. For others, Medicare can start as early as their 24th month of receiving disability benefits.
If a person does not sign up during this initial enrollment period, they must wait until the General enrollment that runs from January 1 through March 31 each calendar year.
Part A coverage purchased in the General enrollment period begin coverage the first day of July.
Late enrollment can creates a late enrollment penalty that would apply to every month of coverage.
Sign Up for Part A to Get Original Medicare
Without Medicare Part A, there is no hospital coverage. If you do not sign up for Part A, you neglect a major, potentially life-saving portion of health insurance.
Together, Parts A and B form Original Medicare, which is the necessary jumping off point to receive any greater benefits.
Medicare Advantage policies provide the benefits of Medicare Parts A, B, and often include Part D prescription drug coverage. Not only that, but with each passing year, the helpful benefits of Medicare Advantage compete for the interest of those on Original Medicare. In other words, these Medicare health plans offered by private companies must continually enhance their benefits to keep any competitive edge. For consumers, that can also result in lower prices than Original Medicare.
Complete Your Coverage with a Medicare Health Plan
A comprehensive combination of Medicare insurance would cover hospital care, medical services, and prescription drugs.
Many choose a Medicare Advantage health plan with the aim of increasing benefits or lowering costs.
For people staying with Original Medicare, one can increase coverage and cut down on out-of-pocket expenses with a Medicare Supplement policy. These policies are equally well known as Medigap.
Although differing from Medicare Advantage in many ways, Medigap policies excel at protecting consumers from out-of-pocket costs. Typically, however, these types of Medicare health plans do not include dental, vision, hearing, or similar benefits.
Medigap Fills in Costs
Original Medicare leaves as much as twenty percent of covered benefits for payment by the consumer.
Over a length of time and with greater medical needs, these small copays can add to a large financial burden.
Medigap supplements are guaranteed for sale only during the initial open enrollment which runs for six months after an applicant has both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
During that six months, a person is able to apply for a Medigap policy without being denied for pre-existing medical conditions. Often, Medigap plans up to 100% coverage for hospital and medical services.