One important note on Medicare coverage is that Medicare is not designed to pay for all medical costs. By design, the program contains premiums, deductibles and co-pays like traditional health care plans. Open enrollment for all Medicare plans is between October 15 and December 7 each year.
For those not receiving Social Security benefits or those who have chosen to delay Social Security benefits, enrollment must be completed by the individual. There is a 7 month window for those not receiving Social Security benefits to sign up, three months before turning 65, the month one turns 65 and the three months after turning 65. Outside of that window, it is important to note, signing up for Medicare can be costly, be delayed or be denied.
Because of these segments of the law, it is important to note that signing up for Medicare is no less daunting than signing up for private or employer-based health coverage. Because of the near-universality of the program for those over 65, because of the high costs associated with healthcare in general and the usually limited resources of retirees, there is an important role for financial advisors to play regarding Medicare.
Working Medicare into a discussion about overall-financial health is a great way for advisors to educate their clients, make sure their clients are truly being fully covered as well as making sure that the health and well-being of their clients is maintained for as long as possible.
For more on this important healthcare topic, please check out of our article tomorrow.