Once you reach the age of 65, you become eligible to receive the benefits offered by Medicare. Medicare allows you to purchase insurance at a lower cost and even if you have preexisting conditions, you still cannot be denied coverage. So all in all, Medicare is a very good deal and can be a key element of your retirement plan.
Before you sign up for Medicare, there are a couple of steps you need to take. First, you want to check your eligibility. In order to automatically qualify for free Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance, you or your spouse must have paid FICA taxes for a minimum of 40 calendar quarters. If you have not reached this threshold, you can pay for Part A, but you might find the cost too high. Instead, you may want to delay enrolling and continue working until you reach the 40 quarter mark.
Unfortunately, choosing the specific plan that works best for you can be a daunting task. This is because there are a number of variables that can impact the cost of your plan. These variables include whether you have started receiving Social Security or if you are still working and using your employer’s plan. Moreover, Parts A, B, C and D of Medicare each offer different benefits, which can also significantly affect your decisions.
With all of the choices and rules involved, the enrollment process can be daunting. But it is important to take the time needed to formulate your choices. Doing otherwise could lead to making very costly mistakes.
As important as Medicare is, it is only one component of your retirement plan. And your choices should be based on finding the most cost-effective methods of getting what you need and achieving your retirement goals. And an experienced eldercare attorney can help you create a plan the meets your needs.