How Soon Can I Have Surgery Once I Am Enrolled In Medicare?



Medicare does not place a time limit on when a person can use services after enrolling. Once he is entered into the system, he can use any of the services he signed up for when he enrolled. Coverage under Part A occurs automatically when an individual signs up for the program. The government-sponsored health insurance policies for older Americans does not worry about preexisting conditions. The limitations on when a person can have surgery depend on the hospital he uses to get the surgery done. A patient may have to go through a small waiting window imposed by his doctors, but one does not exist for Medicare.

Medicare and Preexisting Conditions

Medicare Supplemental Policies, also called Medigap plans, operate under different rules then the government program does. A person with a Medigap plan may have to wait for the additional coverage to kick in for full surgery coverage. If a person needs a medical procedure to maintain his health, it is best not to wait. The rules for insurance companies and preexisting conditions will change shortly. For now, companies are free to impose a waiting period of up to six months before providing services for a condition that existed before a person signed up for a policy.

What If Medicare Part A Does Not Cover My Surgery

Although this happens rarely in the case of Medically necessary procedures, it can happen. When this occurs, a patient is left with no choice but to appeal the denial. The appeal process can take several months and there is no guarantee a review board will reverse the original decision. A Medicare beneficiary who finds himself in this situation may decide to make payment arrangements until the issue can be settled to avoid financial problems that may occur in the future.



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