Approximately 15 percent of the total population of the United States relies on Medicare. If a person is nearing age 65, or have surpassed it, it may be time to begin thinking about signing up for Medicare for the first time.
Unfortunately, this can be a confusing and frustrating process if a person isn’t sure what to do. Don’t worry though. Here are a few tips to help an individual through this often-confusing maze.
- Start the Process Early
Most people do not know that they can begin applying for Medicare up to three months before they turn 65? When they decide to begin the application process, there are three options: they can visit their local Social Security office, go online to sign up for benefits, or contact the Social Security Administration by phone.
The point here is simple – they need to begin becoming educated about Medicare and the application process about three to four months before they actually have to apply. By doing this, there won’t be any confusion when it comes to selecting a Medicare plan.
- Become Familiar with the Different Medicare Plans
Some of the plan options to learn more about include:
- Plan A – this covers medical facilities
- Plan B – this covers medical providers
- Plan C – the Medicare Advantage plans that mimic private insurance plans and that serve as an alternative option for the Plans A and B
- Plan D – the prescription drug plan that’s used for supplementing any coverage gaps
Be sure the enrollee gets familiar with the terminology being used, too. This allows the enrollee to know why some options are better than others.
A good place to start looking for resources and information is on the Medicare site ran by the government; however, don’t limit it to a single source. Do as much research as possible to ensure that they fully understand all the available plans.
- Get Help with Research
It may be a good idea to ask a friend or family member for assistance with this material. This can be especially beneficial if they already are going through the process of applying for Medicare benefits. Someone like this may be a beneficial resource if they are intimidated or confused about the confusing language used by Medicare plans.
- Ask the Social Security Administration any Questions
Chances are they are going to run into a thing or two that they don’t understand, or they may not be sure of how the Medicare rules are going to apply to them and their situation. When they find themself in this type of predicament, it’s best to pick up the phone. The most qualified person to answer the questions they have is a representative at the Social Security Administration.
Be sure to stay on the phone with the representative until all of the questions are answered. This will help to ease any doubts they may have about the process.
- Don’t Get Frustrated or Stressed
There’s no question that applying for Medicare benefits can be difficult and confusing. However, there is help out there. If some needs assistance, there are services that can help, and they can reach out to the Social Security Administration for guidance.
The bottom line is that Medicare benefits are designed to help a person cover the costs of healthcare as they get older. Using the tips here and starting the process early will help ensure they get the desired results out of the situation. In the long run, being informed and gathering as much information early on as possible will make the entire process easier, less stressful and ease the frustration they may otherwise experience when applying for Medicare coverage benefits.