BALTIMORE (PRWEB) November 03, 2021
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is open for retirees. During the seven-and-a-half weeks from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, Medicare enrollees are allowed to select or alter their medical and prescription drug coverage for the entirety of the following year, with the changes taking effect on Jan. 1.
Given the frequent yearly changes in Medicare plans, this vital window gives retirees the chance to review the new rules and coverage options and amend their insurance in ways that could deliver significant savings.
Too commonly, however, Medicare beneficiaries are either unaware of this period or—quite understandably—confuse it with the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP), which takes place in the first quarter of each year and has a wholly different purpose.
It is vital retirees understand the difference between these two periods and what they are and aren’t allowed to do in each—particularly if they’re considering a move overseas.
So to help navigate this peculiar corner of the Medicare maze, International Living has published a report called Everything You Need to Know About Medicare Overseas—created by Ron Elledge, author of the book Medicare Made Easy.
With a few exceptions for emergency or urgent care, Medicare plans will cover enrollees only within the U.S. and its territories.
What happens, then, when retirees want to travel in retirement, take extended stays abroad, or move overseas full-time?
Should they maintain coverage—and if so, at what level? In his report, Everything You Need to Know About Medicare Overseas, Elledge details the answer and lays out a clear picture of how Medicare works.
“Everyone has their own healthcare strategy, particularly when they become an expat,” Elledge says. “But I believe everyone, including full-time expats, should enroll in Part A and Part B of Medicare as soon as they become eligible.
“Medicare is an endless maze of rules and regulations, but at its core, it is designed to cover as many people over 65 as possible. And there are at least 5 reasons why it makes sense for folks who want to travel extensively or even live abroad to stay enrolled in at least some parts of Medicare, no matter where you’re living.”
Everything You Need to Know About Medicare Overseas details those five reasons and also answers the most common questions retirees considering an overseas move ask:
- What if I plan to be a part-time retiree, living four to six months abroad each year, and then returning to the States for the rest of the year—what should I do about Medicare?
- I plan to live full-time overseas—but I suppose there’s always the chance I’ll return to the U.S. when I’m older, if my circumstances change. Is it worth my while to maintain any portion of Medicare, on the off chance that I’ll need it?
- Do I have to maintain an address in the U.S. in order to maintain Medicare coverage? If I am resident in Costa Rica, say, and I’ve arranged my finances such that I no longer have a state income-tax liability (because I left the U.S. from Florida, which doesn’t have a state income tax)…do I still need to maintain some sort of Florida address in order to maintain my Medicare coverage?
- I plan to be a “roving retiree” and spend a few years traveling in retirement before returning to the U.S., at which point I might spend part of the year away and part of it Stateside. What should I do about Medicare?
The report lays out a clear picture of how Medicare works and then explores the nuances of it, as they relate to retirees interested in spending time overseas.
More Medicare information can be found, here: Everything You Need to Know About Medicare Overseas
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