Navigating the healthcare field tends to be confusing and complicated, full of ever-changing rules and policies that only seem to complicate things even further making it more difficult for you to get the information and the help that you ultimately need. In hopes of helping you navigate this system a little easier, here are a few notes that we have picked up along the way to help you figure out Medicare & Medicaid.
One of the most important things to know about Medicare is that there is a 7-month time frame for you to apply within and you should apply within that time frame whether you plan on using the Medicare assistance or not. The months include the three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after you turn 65.1 The reason that it is so important for you to apply within this time frame, regardless of if you will use it or not, is that your benefits will be reduced for life if you miss the deadline. Therefore, apply during that time to make sure that you will have as many benefits as possible available to it when/if you eventually need them.
Another vital thing to note is that Medicare and Medicaid are two different entities. One major distinction between the two is that you can only apply for Medicaid if you do not have any money. There are differences in coverage you can receive from Medicare vs. Medicaid. For instance, Medicaid pays for a few things that Medicare does not, such as eyeglasses, dental care, and hearing aids. When it comes to Medicare, if you want coverage for prescription drugs you must apply for the Medicare Part D plan. You will also need to apply for dental insurance separately if you apply for Medicare.
If you are thinking about applying for Medicare or Medicaid, make sure to speak to a qualified professional so that you know what all of your options are and can choose the plan that will work best for you. While the systems for both may be complex to understand and navigate, there is help out there for you. You do not want to miss out on receiving vital benefits just because something may be confusing at first. Seek help, do the research and then reap the reward!
**This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it intended as any financial or tax advice. They may not take into account your personal characteristics such as budget, assets, risk tolerance, family situation or activities which may affect the type of insurance that would be right for you. In addition, state insurance laws and insurance underwriting rules may affect available coverage and its costs. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company. You may also visit your state’s insurance department for more information.