Turning 65? What You Need to Know about Signing up for Medicare.
The first of the 78 million Baby Boomers turned 65 on January 1, 2011. 10,000 boomers will turn 65 every day between now and 2030. If you are about to turn 65, it is time to think about Medicare. You become eligible for Medicare at age 65, and delaying your enrollment can result in penalties, so it is important to act right away. At about age 64 1/2 you’ll starting hearing from all the big insurance companies. We also hold several meetings or seminars each month to teach this subject. (Nothing to sell. Just answers to your questions.)
There are several options to think about when signing up for Medicare. Medicare consists of four major parts: Part A covers inpatient (like hospital or nursing home) stays, Part B covers outpatient fees. These two make up Original Medicare. Part C, often called Medicare Advantage, is a privately offered alternative to Original Medicare. Part D pairs with Original Medicare to cover prescription medications. In addition, Medigap policies offer additional coverage to individuals enrolled in Parts A and B. Learn more by calling 443-912-5467 (TTY: 711).
Medicare enrollment begins three months before your 65th birthday and continues for 7 months. If you are currently receiving Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A, effective the month you turn 65. You will just need to enroll in Medicare Part B. If you do not receive Social Security benefits, then you will need to sign up for Medicare by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly/. It is best to do it as early as possible so your coverage begins as soon as you turn 65. We can guide you through this process, so stop by our office for any help you may need.
If you are still working and have an employer or union group health insurance plan, it is possible to postpone enrollment in Medicare right away. You will need to find out from your employer whether the employer’s plan is the primary insurer. This is called qualified or creditable coverage. If Medicare, rather than the employer’s plan, is the primary insurer, your group health plan through work wouldn’t be qualified or creditable coverage and you will still need to sign up for Part B to avoid a late enrollment penalty. Even if you aren’t going to sign up for Part B, you should still enroll in Medicare Part A, since most people receive the coverage premium-free and may help pay some of the costs not covered by your group health plan. Click here to see more
Plans are available by state. Please call 443-912-5467 (TTY: 711) or 855-219-4662 (TTY: 711) for more information. Visit us at 410 Main Street, Reisterstown, MD 21136.