Will Medicare cover pre-existing conditions?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 17, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

If you've been told that you need and operation right before your Medicare kicks in, will Medicare A and/or B cover you even though you have another insurance?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

The good news is that Medicare does not have any preexisting conditions. As soon as you are enrolled in the program, you are covered for any past or present medical conditions. So if you can wait until you are enrolled, Medicare will pay for your surgery. Keep in mind that Medicare does have deductibles and copays.

Many people over 65 purchase Medicare supplement policies to cover these "gaps". SInce a Medicare supplement is issued by private health insurance companies, they can opt to not cover pre-existing conditions for up to 6 months. There are exceptions based on your prior coverage. The best way to go about finding which ones will cover pre-existing conditions is to contact a good health insurance agent who is knowledgable about these policies.