The Medicare program provides health insurance to older people. In 2015, 16.3 percent were covered by Medicare. Around 56 million people were enrolled in the Medicare program. From that number, 47 million were enrolled for age and 9 million were beneficiaries due to disability. Among the US states, a quarter of the population of West Virginia was enrolled in Virginia Medicare plans. The US spent some $640 billion on the Medicare program in 2015. In 2016, Medicare accounted for 20% of US health care expenditures. Here are some things you need to know when enrolling in a Medicare program:
- Everyone signs up with an agency which will serve as your contact point for questions and actual registration.
- If you are already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security before turning 65, you will be automatically registered for Medicare Part A and Part B beginning on the first day of the month of your 65th If you are not getting Social Security benefits and over 65 years old, you have to take the initiative and sign up for Virginia Medicare plans yourself.
There are different Medicare plans out there. Here are some tips on how you can enroll for a plan:
Start early and don’t procrastinate
You can start the process of applying for Medicare up to three months before turning 65 years old. You can either contact Social Security through phone or visit the nearest office, or sign up for benefits online, depending on your preference. It will be a good idea to educate yourself about Medicare 3 or 4 months prior to application.
Study each plan carefully
There are different types of Medicare plan available so it pays to study them first before applying. Be familiar with the different terms being used so you will have a clear idea about what you are signing for. A good starting point will be the website of the Medicare program.
Call Social Security for questions
If there is anything that you do not understand about the Medicare program, contact Social Security for clarification. Stay on the line until all your questions have been answered and all your doubts cleared. The phone number is 800-772-1213. The busiest times to call Social Security is early in the morning, Mondays, Fridays , or near the first month. The best time to call is Tuesday to Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm. If they put you on hold, you will not wait long.
Don’t get stressed
Applying for Medicare is not as difficult as you think. It follows a logical and rational system that can be easily understood. It does not have to be a stressful experience on your part. Just go with the flow and you will have your turn for receiving the Medicare benefits that is right for you.