About ten thousand Baby Boomers turn 65 each day, meaning around 3,65,0000 will reach that milestone during 2020. That’s over three-and-a-half million people who will now become eligible for Medicare, and yet many aren’t yet sure what they’re supposed to do. So, if your 65’th birthday is rapidly approaching, this brief Medicare enrollment primer might help.
If you claim your Social Security benefits… You will be automatically enrolled in Part A coverage, which is free for most people, and you will have the option to enroll in Part B coverage (for a monthly premium).
If you aren’t claiming your Social Security benefits yet, you will need to take the initiative to enroll in Medicare. You will not be automatically enrolled, so it is very important to remember the following time frame.
You’re eligible to enroll in Medicare during a seven-month period. You can start the enrollment process at any point during the three months before your 65’th birthday, during your birthday month, or for three months afterward. If you miss this initial enrollment window, you could face higher premiums when you do enroll. So mark this deadline on your calendar. Contact your local Social Security office, or apply online at www.ssa.gov
Decide if you want to enroll in Medicare Part D. Part D, or prescription drug coverage, is available to those who are concerned about the cost of current or future prescriptions. You will pay a monthly premium in exchange for managed prices on many common drugs.
Research Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage Plans. Instead of enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B, you can opt for a Part C plan (also called Medicare Advantage plans). These comprehensive plans roll Parts A and B into one healthcare plan, and many also include Part D coverage. These plans are available for a premium, but the type of coverage offered might be more convenient or affordable for you in the long run.
As with any other healthcare plan, what’s right for one person won’t be perfect for another. So you should carefully compare Advantage plans before determining whether this option better suits your needs.
We can help with this part. If you’re interested in Medicare Advantage plans, give us a call and we’ll discuss your needs. Then, we can match you with a plan and review the details with you.