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 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.
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.