Are you already planning for the end of the year? Where did the time go? In this edition, we’ll be looking into navigating Medicare for the first time, particularly if you are under the age of 65.
Don’t forget Medicare travel insurance when you are away from home for business or pleasure. Medicare generally doesn’t cover medical expenses outside of the United States. For that reason, look into travel insurance. Not all travel insurance covers medical care, so be specific with insurance or travel agents about what you are looking for and examine the policy carefully for any and all limitations.1
Know Your Medicare Resources
Medicare is a massive program, and it can be difficult at first to know what resources exist to help you navigate the whole thing. Medicare is both complex and beneficial, and a variety of trusted sources can help you navigate your rights and options. A few are listed here:
Can You Qualify for Medicare under Age 65?
When you are under 65, you become eligible for Medicare if you have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) checks for at least 24 months or if you have been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
In the first case, the two-year waiting period begins the first month you receive an SSDI check. You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare at the beginning of the 25th month in which you receive an SSDI check.
If you receive SSDI because you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Medicare automatically begins the first month that your SSDI benefits start. You do not have the two-year waiting period.
If you are under 65 and have ESRD, when your Medicare benefits begin depends on your specific circumstances, including when you apply for Medicare, whether you receive dialysis at home or at a facility, and whether you get a kidney transplant. If you are eligible for ESRD Medicare, you can enroll in Parts A and B together at any time. Part A will be retroactive for up to 12 months, but it cannot start earlier than the first month you were eligible for ESRD Medicare.3
Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park.
January 1: Medicare General Enrollment Begins
January 1: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Begins
January 15: Medicare Advantage/Part D Rate Release
March 31: Medicare General Enrollment Ends
March 31: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Ends
April: Flu Season Ends
September: Private plans send notice if there will be any change in cost, coverage, or service area
October 15: Medicare Open Enrollment Period Begins
November: Flu season begins
November 6 (estimated): Medicare Parts A & B Premiums & Deductibles Announced
December 7: Medicare Open Enrollment Ends
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.