For most people, turning 65 means it’s time to enroll in Medicare. Here’s what you need to know about registering and your options.

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The first step is entering the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). How this step occurs depends on if you’re collecting retirement benefits or not.

  • If you’re collecting retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. In this situation, you don’t have to contact anyone. You’ll receive a package in the mail three months before your benefits start. This package will include explanations on your Part A and Part B enrollments, as well as how Medicare works.
  • If you’re not receiving retirement benefits, you’ll need to actively enroll in Medicare on your own. You can sign up for Part A or Part B Medicare by visiting or calling your local Social Security office, applying online, or mailing a signed and dated letter to the Social Security office. If you’re sending in a letter, make sure to include your full legal name, Social Security number, and the day you would like to be enrolled in Medicare. Whatever enrollment option you choose, try to get written receipts and confirmations of your application process. If you speak to a representative, always ask for their name. This can help you avoid any premium penalties if your application is lost.

Depending on what day you turn 65, there is a specific sign-up period you should be aware of. You can find relevant dates for sign up periods on the Medicare website.

What is Medicare Supplement?

While Medicare is a great system that helps alleviate the burden of healthcare costs, it’s not a perfect system that covers every health-related cost. That is where Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medigap, comes in.

Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies and are meant to fill in the gaps not covered by Medicare plans. These policies can help pay for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. It can also cover additional areas, such as providing healthcare insurance when traveling outside of the country.

Some important facts to know about Medicare Supplement packages are:

  • You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to qualify.
  • These policies only cover one person. If your spouse needs coverage as well, they’ll need their own Medicare Supplement package.
  • Medicare Supplement packages sold after January 1, 2006, aren’t allowed to cover prescription drugs. If you require prescription drug coverage, consider joining a Medicare Part D plan.

Is United Healthcare a good Medicare supplement?

There are many Medicare supplement insurance providers out there to choose from. One such provider that is well-known is United Healthcare. So, is United Healthcare a good Medicare supplement to consider?

United Healthcare offers Medicare Supplement Plans through AARP. In fact, AARP Healthcare is the largest provider of Plan C in the country. More than one in four Medicare Advantage members are enrolled through United Healthcare.

Due to this large customer base, AARP United Healthcare can offer several advantages to its clients, including rate stability and a wide range of payment and plan options.

Overall, AARP United Healthcare is a great option and delivers many vital benefits an individual would hope to see from their insurance provider. Most plans offer unlimited virtual visits with a $0 copay, as well as dental, hearing, and vision coverage.

Some pros of AARP United Healthcare are:

  • A high satisfaction rating from customers. Above-average when compared to competitors in the space.
  • 24-hour nurse line
  • Most plans have a $0 doctor visit copay
  • Wide variety of plans offering preventative services and disease management programs
  • A fitness membership is included
  • Flexible HMO-POS plans
  • An extensive national provider network

Of course, no insurance provider is perfect. AARP United Healthcare has been noted on having the following cons:

  • Less-than-stellar customer service ratings
  • PPO plan premiums can sometimes be slightly higher than average
  • Limited online resources
  • Only available in 24 states

Overall, if AARP United Healthcare is available in your state, it’s likely a reliable option for a Medicare Supplement package. However, before you sign up with any provider, it’s essential to do your research. Consider your health needs and find the provider that can fit those needs best. We recommend comparing at least three to four providers before making a selection.