October is here, and we have good news for freelancers who are eligible for Medicare benefits. Not only can you sign up between now and December 7, but if you go through us you’ll have access to one of the biggest providers in the market, AND you’ll support your fellow freelancers at no extra cost to you.
Medicare Open Enrollment is the one time of the year when you can update and change your coverage, or join Medicare if you didn’t sign up within 60 days of your 65th birthday.
Don’t miss the window to ensure coverage next year if:
* You are a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, and
* You or your spouse worked at least ten years in Medicare-covered employment
Here’s what you need to know about the various options.
One simple way to get all of your coverage at once is to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. These are offered by private insurance companies and typically combine coverage for doctors, hospitals, and pharmacy services in one. Because Medicare is a government program, the private insurance company receives funding from the government, and the monthly premium for these plans can be as low as $0.
See our favorite EmblemHealth Medicare plan in the New York area for example.
Medicare Through the Government
The original Medicare is a government-run program and includes three different components:
* Part A covers hospital stays and other inpatient care such as skilled nursing facilities
* Part B covers doctor visits, preventative care and other outpatient services such as diagnostic testing.
* Part D covers prescriptions
How to choose the plan that’s right for you
You can enroll in the original Medicare coverage and choose to supplement it with a private Medicare plan that helps “fill the gaps.” So it’s important to clarify if the plan you are considering is intended to replace your Medicare coverage (like a Medicare Advantage plan) or add to your Medicare coverage (like a “MediGap” or “Supplement” plan).
Medicare Advantage: Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, and include both hospital (Part A) and medical (Part B) coverage. Enroll in these instead of enrolling in the original Medicare offered by the government.
Medicare Supplement: Also known as “MediGap,” Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurance companies to add to the coverage offered by the government. Enroll in these when you are also enrolled in original Medicare (Parts A and B).
Prescription Coverage: Original Medicare does not include pharmacy coverage. Make sure to confirm which prescriptions are covered, and consider adding a Part D pharmacy plan to your package.
Sign up for Medicare through Freelancers Union
Are you in New York? Check out our favorite EmblemHealth Medicare Advantage plan.
Outside of New York? Talk to our phone agents to learn more and enroll at 844-533-2893.
If you need help understanding plans, check out our glossary of health insurance terms.