| Mon, May 02, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

With Medicare Enrollment, Timing Matters

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Medicare Initial Enrollment PeriodDid you know that you can apply for Medicare before you’re actually eligible to receive benefits? The first day of your 65th birthday month marks the date of your Medicare eligibility, unless you are disabled or otherwise eligible sooner. But, your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)begins before that. Your IEP is a seven-month window that includes the three months before your birthday month, your birthday month itself, and the three months after your birthday month.

It’s a good idea to start researching your Medicare plan options well before your eligibility date, so you can plan for and take full advantage of your IEP. Original Medicare has two parts, Part A and Part B. Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, as well as hospice care and some home health care. Medicare Part B helps cover doctor services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Medicare Part A doesn’t cover.

Your first decision is how you want to get your Medicare coverage, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).

  • Original Medicare is provided by Medicare. Many people who opt for Original Medicare also purchase a Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D) from a private insurance company.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies. These plans offer all the coverage included in Parts A and B. Many also include coverage for prescription drugs and for dental, vision, hearing and wellness services.

To ensure that your complete Medicare coverage starts on your eligibility date and that you get the best coverage and value for you, it’s important to:

  • Do your research early.
  • Make your decisions ahead of time.
  • Sign up during the first three months of your IEP.

For additional information, go to www.medicare.gov

Visit MedicareMadeClear.com to learn more about Medicare and how it works. You can also call the UnitedHealthcare® helpline to speak with one of our representatives to get information about your UnitedHealthcare® Insurance Company Medicare options; 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week.

The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of United Healthcare®, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.

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