When It's Time To Sign Up For Medicare

Sherri Ramos

Once you reach 65 and you are ready to sign up for Medicare insurance, it's important to learn what your insurance will and will not cover. Medicare comes in parts A, B, C, and D, which can make the process of choosing the right plan for your needs feel even more confusing. If you already have coverage through your spouse and Medicare is your supplemental insurance, you may only need to sign up for Medicare Part A and wait until you need additional coverage to apply for more. Medicare B, C, and D are all options when you need medical coverage, and you are ready to move beyond Medicare A.

Understanding Medicare Part B 

Medicare part B is coverage that goes beyond hospital care. You'll have coverage for most outpatient services such as occupational therapy or physical therapy. You'll be able to go to your doctor, and some of your durable medical equipment will be covered. The biggest issue consumers have with straight Medicare part B is that it doesn't cover prescription medications. You can either choose to pay for a Medicare Advantage plan to help cover medication costs or invest in Medicare Part D to get your prescription coverage.

Medicare Advantage Programs

Medicare Advantage is Medicare Part C, and it is a combination of Medicare A and B. These plans are offered by private insurance companies and will provide you with a variety of coverage. In general, the higher your Medicare Advantage premiums are, the more coverage you will have. For people who need extensive medical care or who have high prescription needs, a good Medicare Advantage plan can make a big difference.

Medicare Part D Coverage

If you choose not to buy into a Medicare Advantage program, you can choose Medicare Part D to help cover the cost of your prescription medication. Each prescription drug plan that is part of Medicare D will offer you choices. You can opt for a plan with a high deductible or higher co-pays in order to pay less out of pocket every month. A Medicare Advantage plan can be the answer when it comes to needing full insurance coverage that includes prescription medications.

When you need medical coverage, and you are qualified for Medicare, it's time to consider your options. Most people choose a Medicare Advantage plan based on their unique needs that include prescription medication and other treatment providers as necessary.