Posted on

Senior News

If you get Social Security Benefits at least four months before turning 65, you are automatically enrolled in Part A and B when you turn 65. You will get a Welcome to Medicare packet in the mail which will include your Medicare card. You can decline Part B if you have other creditable health insurance coverage, just check the box on the back of your Medicare card and mail it back. You will then receive a new card with only Part A indicated.

NOTE: You will need to remember to enroll in Part B and Part D (pharmacy) prior to losing your creditable coverage so you do not experience a gap in coverage or a late enrollment penalty. You will have eight months after your employment or creditable coverage ends, whichever happens first. Be aware that COBRA, VA coverage and Market Place coverage DO NOT qualify as creditable coverage.

If you turn 65 and were not enrolled in Medicare automatically, you will want to remember to enroll in Part A during your initial enrollment period which begins three months before you turn 65, the month of your birthday and three months after. In most cases your coverage begins the first day of your birthday month unless your birthday is on the first of the month, then it begins the following month. To reiterate, you will NOT be enrolled automatically if you are not receiving Social Security. You do not want to miss this initial enrollment period. The Social Security office toll free number is 1-800-772-1213. Enrollment can also be done online at: benefits/medicare.

Some may want to keep their retiree coverage as well as their Medicare coverage, it is important to discuss this with your benefits administrator as it will affect your coverage and any actions you may need to take. NOTE: It is important to notify Medicare when you or your spouse stops working call 1-800-6334227.

If you want to purchase a Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan or have Tricare and are retired military, you must enroll in Part B during your initial enrollment period. You cannot purchase a Medicare supplement plan without having Medicare part B. The 2023 standard premium for Medicare Part B is $164.90 a month.

If you miss your initial enrollment period and you do not qualify for a special enrollment period, you can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the general enrollment period which is Jan. 1 – March 31, your coverage will then begin the first of the month following the month you enroll. NOTE: You may have to pay a higher premium due to late enrollment. Contact your local SHIP counselor 1-800-551-3191 if you need clarification or assistance with enrollment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *