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Tips For Success With Medicare Enrollment

The Medicare application process can be complex, and it can leave many first-time applicants confused. If you aren't familiar with the requirements, it can be a challenge. Here are a few tips that will help you to avoid some common mistakes.

You Can Enroll At 65

You become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 years old. You'll be able to enroll for the plan as soon as a few months before your 65th birthday, and the open enrollment window closes a couple of months after your birthday. Some people believe that you're automatically enrolled on your birthday, but that isn't the case. You'll have to enroll on your own if you want coverage.

You Don't Have To Enroll At 65

If you're working a job where you have insurance benefits, you don't have to enroll in Medicare at 65 years old. Instead, you can wait until you actually retire to do it. Just make sure that you confirm what your enrollment period will be when you decide to retire, because it can vary. Failing to enroll before the end of the retirement enrollment period means you'll have to wait for the next open enrollment.  

Plans Aren't One-Size-Fits-All

Even if your spouse is already on one of the Medicare insurance plans, that doesn't mean that you'll want to just duplicate his or her plan for you. In fact, you should never enroll in a plan of any kind until you've looked at exactly what kind of coverage it provides you. If you're signing up for Medicare Part D coverage, for example, you need to know what medications are covered. The last thing you want is a policy that won't cover the medication that you take on a daily basis. Ask for policy details before you enroll in anything, and check all of your medications and doctors to be sure that they are covered.

You Should Always Update Your Plan When Things Change

In most cases, Medicare only permits enrollment during the open enrollment period every year and when you're turning 65 or retiring. That doesn't mean that you can only make policy changes during those times, though. In fact, if you change something significant, such as getting married, moving, getting divorced or anything of the sort, you should make sure to update your plan.

With so many things to think about, you can probably see why people find the process complicated. These tips will help you understand what's ahead and prepare for the enrollment process. Knowing how to avoid some common mistakes may even help you to have a more positive experience when you enroll for your Medicare coverage.