If you are new to Medicare then this information is for you. It will not cover every detail, but rather a broad overview to get your pointed in the right direction. For more information you can visit with me to go over specifics.
Unless you already qualify for Medicare due to disability, the standard age to start Medicare is the 1st of the Month that you turn 65. If your birthday is the 1st it is moved to the month before. If you are collecting Social Security the application for Medicare should be automatic*.
When should you enroll? Your initial open enrollment period is 3 months before, the month of, and 3 months after your 65th birthday. If your birthday is October 10th for example, you will qualify to enroll July 1st – January 31st.
What does it mean to enroll in Medicare? I like to think of it as a time in life where you can stop worrying about privatized health insurance being your only option. You can take advantage of the Government’s insurance options for those who have worked their whole life to get to that next phase.
I will try to make it easier than this control switch!
There are 2 main ways to get Medicare
The first is Original Medicare:
- Part A – Hospital Insurance: This portion of Medicare is usually free but may have a cost of up to $471 a month for 2021.
- Part B – Clinic Insurance: The standard premium for Part B in 2021 is $148.50 a month. If your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount in 2021 you may have to pay an extra charge, which is added to your premium**.
- Medigap Insurance: Medicare Supplements from private insurance companies help pay those claims that are not covered under Medicare parts A & B. Those usually pay 80% of claims and you pay 20%.
- Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage is also purchased from private insurance companies. Even if you do not need Rx coverage now, it is wise to purchase it so you don’t get a penalty later on for not buying when you turned 65.
You may be wondering where Part C is? It is in a separate category also known as Medicare Advantage. Please take note that many Counties do not offer these plans. The following information is taken from the Medicare & You 2021 book that you will be sent.
- Medicare Advantage is an “all in one” alternative to Original Medicare. These “bundled” plans include Part A, Part B, and usually Part D.
- Plans may have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
- In many cases, you’ll need to use doctors who are in the plans network.
- Most plans offer extra benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover – like vision, hearing, dental, and more.
I hope this information gives you a good start to your Medicare journey. You can always reach out to me for more information. Some helpful links are displayed below and will guarantee that you are getting the official Medicare websites, not just private companies who then sell your information.
https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ (Create your Social Security Account Here)
https://ssa.gov (Main Social Security Website)
https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib (Apply for Medicare Only)
*Never depend on Medicare to process your application automatically.
**IRMA = Income Related Monthly Amount is based on your IRS tax returns from the past 2 years.