Getting Your Parents Started with Medicare

Getting Your Parents Started with Medicare

As your parents or loved ones approach retirement or their 65th birthday they have likely started looking into their Medicare options. You probably haven’t thought much about Medicare and many people who will soon be eligible find the idea of signing up for Medicare confusing. Both of which are understandable.

You’re both used to getting your insurance from your employer or the marketplace and after so many years of doing something one way, it can be intimidating to learn a new way.

There are many different options to consider when looking at Medicare coverage for your loved ones. This video provides some Medicare basics to take away some of the mystery and confusion.

Below we answer some of the most common questions about Medicare.

Are my parents eligible for Medicare?

You are eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or older, but you can enroll in Medicare as early as three months before your 65th birthday. This can help you make sure your benefits start on the first day you are eligible.

What is Medicare?

Medicare isn’t just one insurance plan. In fact, Medicare is broken into different parts that cover different things.  Parts A and B (Original Medicare), Part C, and Part D.

Here’s a short breakdown of those parts.

  • Part A – Hospital Coverage 

    • Covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, and hospice care

    Part B – Medical Insurance 

    • Covered doctor’s services, medical services and supplies

    Part C – Medicare Advantage Plans 

    • Parts A and B combined. Some Medicare Advantage Plans included prescription drug coverage

    Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage 

    • Medicare Supplemental Insurance
      • Can be added to Parts A, B, and D to provide additional coverage
      • There are many supplemental plans (lettered from A-N with a few letters missing). The basic benefits of each of these lettered plans is the same across insurance companies.
How do they enroll in Medicare when it’s time?

In addition to the initial enrollment period that begins just before your 65th birthday, there is an annual enrollment period that begins in October and runs into December each year where you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan or make changes to your existing Medicare coverage.

You can find more detailed enrollment information here.