I’m Allie Shipman, and I’m a new recruit with Empower brokerage. I’ll be working closely with John Shinn, our product specialist on senior products. We’re going to do a web and video series on Medicare, focusing on all your options. There are two ways to get Medicare, and today we will talk about the first way. Okay John, where should we start with Medicare?
Well, the first thing you should know about Medicare is when your eligibility times are. You definitely need to know when you can apply and how to apply. How you apply is pretty basic. You go to Medicare.gov to apply and start that process. You can get a lot of information on that website. Most of us really look forward to that and are really thankful to have Medicare.
Once you know how to apply, you need to figure out when you become eligible. Everyone has a seven-month window to apply for Medicare. This window starts three months before you become 65. It runs through the month of your birthday and ends three months after your birthday month. Most people try to do this as early as possible. They start thinking about it, they know when their birthday is, and they start that process three months before. It is very simple. You can either apply online, go to the social security office in your town, or work with an insurance agent to help you with the whole process. Bottom line: checking your eligibility is step number one.
Another thing you should know about it is that there are two ways for you to get your Medicare. As we talk through this series, we’re going to talk about who is eligible, who is not eligible, and your varying options. There are two big options available to everybody, which are Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Everybody starts with Original Medicare, which is provided through the government. You pay a premium into your Medicare; then, your doctor files claims directly to the government. You can go to any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. The government then pays the doctors and hospitals based on the rules set in place. That’s called Part A. Everyone receives Medicare automatically, and from there you can get Medicare Advantage.
So those are your two big choices for you. Hope that helps, and we’re going to talk more about this in the rest of the series.
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