Are you approaching retirement? If so, you're probably looking forward to spending time with your family, travelling the world, or maybe pursuing a favorite hobby. Or perhaps you're simply looking forward to enjoying a free and open schedule without the burdens of work.
You may also be busy planning the financial aspects of retirement. It's a big challenge. One of the most important aspects is health insurance, which will likely be covered by Medicare. This is a great resource for retirees, but it can be difficult to understand if you're a new participant. There are several different types of coverage, and each has its own costs and benefits. You may be overwhelmed by the enrollment process. Below are a few tips to consider as you start to examine your Medicare options.
Start the process early. You can enroll in Medicare at age 65, but you don't have to wait. In fact, you can enroll a few months before your birthday, and you can start the process of comparing your options at any time. It's often worthwhile to start early. Health insurance is critical issue, especially as you get older and become more vulnerable to injury and illness. Medicare can also seem like a complex maze in the beginning, so it could take you time to figure out which options are right for you.
Create a budget. There are no premiums for the core part of Medicare, which covers hospitalizations. However, there are optional parts of Medicare coverage that provide additional protection. For instance, you may want coverage for doctor visits, prescription drugs, or even other services like dental treatments. These additional forms of coverage also come at additional cost. They also may have varying deductibles and co-pays.
Take time to develop a retirement budget so you know what you can afford in terms of health insurance. You may find that you have to make a difficult trade-off between premiums and deductibles. Or you may have to choose between different levels of protection. A budget can help you make a confident, informed decision.
Get a checkup. If you haven't seen your doctor in a while, now may be the time to do so. Just as it's helpful to have a budget before you make a decision, it's also wise to know your current health status. You may learn that you need a new type of medication or that a procedure could be on the horizon. You can then factor that information into your Medicare selection so you choose the right option for your needs.
Have questions? You may want to talk to a Medicare consultant. They can help you analyze your needs and choose the right coverage for your goals.