Eligibility For Medicare

2014 Medicare and Medigap Updates

Someone may have told you that in their opinion you are eligible for Medicare coverage. If you are not sure, you can find out rather quickly by checking on the federal government site and answering a few questions. There are three primary conditions for a person to have eligibility for Medicare.

1. The usual way to reach eligibility for Medicare is through the normal process of reaching the age of 65. You become eligible on the first day of the month of your birth. You are in line for Medicare Part A and Part B. You must apply for Part B about three months before your birthday if you want to receive coverage at the time of your birthday. If you are receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will not have to apply for Medicare Part B coverage.

2. If a person becomes disabled between the ages of fifty and sixty-five and is a widow or widower, it is possible to get Medicare early. If a person is drawing disability benefits, this is not possible. Some disabled people who are the only surviving heads of household and are getting some assistance through a Social Security benefit do have eligibility for Medicare.

3. Those with End Stage Renal Failure are automatically eligible for Medicare. Part B is still an option that has to be paid for, but if a person develops permanent kidney failure after they have retired and are paying for Part B, they can submit a new application to get the lowest premium for Medicare Part B.

When a person has eligibility for Medicare, they have to learn the many different parts and coverage. Part A, which is furnished by the federal government, is free. This is basic hospital insurance. Part B that is paid by the insured is for medical insurance.

Part C under Medicare is called Medicare Advantage Plan. This is a premium-based plan purchased from private insurance companies to pick up some of the costs that Part A and Part B do not cover.

Part D is another rider that is paid for through private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. It covers prescription drugs. As with most of the different plans, there are deductibles to be paid by the patient.

These are the basic parts of Medicare, and there are many plans that can be added on to Medicare coverage. All are through insurance companies that are not government funded. Premiums add up quickly and can get quite expensive. A person who isn't careful might get overlapping coverage and pay much more than is necessary.

Medigap is another insurance specifically designed to fill in for costs that basic Medicare does not pay. The guidelines are set so that the person on a limited income will not be taken advantage of, but will receive the best coverage they can afford. Shopping for Medigap and other riders is necessary for retired people who need the best insurance for the best price.

If you are eligible for medicare you may want to also read our article on medicare fraud to stay informed on this important subject.