How do I prepare for Medicare?

Before making an ultimate decision on a Medicare plan, there are a few things you should know to be adequately prepared for Medicare.

Authorization Forms

One of the first things you should consider is filling out an Authorization Form, which allows Medicare to share your personal health information with a person of your choosing. Without this form, your loved ones will not be able to access any of your health information.

Preventive Visit

During your first year of Medicare, it is important to make your “Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit. Only available in your first twelve months, this visit is free and important. Bring your medical and immunization records, a list of the prescriptions and supplements you take, and be prepared to detail your family medical history. 

The visit will involve flu or pneumococcal shots, screenings, and referrals to other necessary care. Body measurements will be taken, and you will have a vision test, along with a screening for depression and your level of safety. Your provider will speak with you about advance directives. They will also advise you on other screenings, shots, and preventive services you may need.

Create an Account

Another step in Medicare security is creating your secure personal account. With an electronic account, you can share and view your health information, pay your premiums online, view your Medicare claims, make a list of your prescribed drugs, and find health plans in your area. can send you your Medicare Summary Notices electronically. Electronic notices (eMSNs) are a great way to track your claims and costs, catch errors, and prevent fraud. You also eliminate stacks of paper by receiving the information this way.

Through your online account, you can also view Medicare resources such as the Medicare & You handbook. Online, you can quickly check if a service, item, or test is covered. You can also access a calendar of upcoming preventive services. Going paperless is a secure way to save tax dollars and save you the hassle of shredding.

For all of your Medicare questions, go to Medicare on Video.

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