by Medicare Made Clear
Did you buy your health insurance through the Health Marketplace? If you did, you’ll be happy to know it won’t affect you at all when you’re ready to sign up for Medicare.
Likewise, if you already have Medicare, the Health Marketplace has zero impact on your current Medicare coverage. As long as you have at least Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), you meet the coverage requirements and do not need a Marketplace plan. In fact, it’s against the law for someone who knows you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan. This is true even if you have only Part A or only Part B.
If you’re getting ready to sign up for Medicare, here are five steps to help you get the enrollment process started.
1. Know when you should sign up for Medicare. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). The exact dates of your IEP depend on your date of birth or on the date you began receiving disability benefits. Learn more.
2. Know how to enroll. Medicare enrollment may or may not be automatic. Learn more.
3. Understand your healthcare needs. Your lifestyle, medical history and plans for the future are all things to think about before making a decision about Medicare. Learn more.
4. Know how to compare your Medicare choices. You’ll want to explore and compare all of the choices available to you, including Original Medicare and private Medicare plans. Learn more.
5. Know how to choose a Medicare plan. Watch a video.
6. Avoid a health coverage gap. Don’t cancel your existing health insurance until you are sure of your exact Medicare coverage start date.
See some real life examples of how four people choose their Medicare plans.
If you need help understanding your plan choices, contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP is a state-based program that offers local one-on-one counseling to Medicare beneficiaries on a wide range of Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap matters.
For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048, or contact Cruson Insurance Agency at (972) 896-3851.
Prepare for Initial Enrollment: Medicare Made Clear
Medicare & the Marketplace: Medicare.gov
Medicare & You: Get the official U.S. government Medicare handbook.