If you are about to turn 65, then it is time to consider some things that may greatly affect your finances and healthcare. In the months leading up to turning 65, there are some important things that you will need to understand.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO CONTINUE WORKING PAST AGE 65 AND HAVE GROUP INSURANCE:
Since you are turning 65 soon and you plan on working past age 65 and will continue to have group health insurance through your employer, then you have some investigating to do. It would be best to talk to your HR department and to the person that administers your healthcare benefits. Once you turn 65 and if you have worked 40 quarters ( 10 years) over your working lifetime, then you are eligible to receive Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) free. If you haven’t working 40 quarters then you might check into drawing benefits through your spouse, as long as he or she has worked 40 quarters and is 62 years old. Medicare Part A, if you qualify, is automatic, no sign-up is required. The decision you need to make is if you need to apply for Medicare Part B. It depends on certain regulations, so that is why it’s best to contact the HR department and let them know you are eligible for Part B of Medicare. In some cases you will not need to apply for your Part B until you decide to retire. The same goes for your Part D, which is your drug benefit. You need to make sure that your group insurance is “creditable coverage”. If your insurance does have creditable coverage then you will not need to sign up with a Part D drug plan. If you do need to apply for Medicare Part B. You can call 1.800.MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov and apply on-line.
I’M NOT WORKING PAST AGE 65, AND NEED TO APPLY:
Say you are turning 65 in a few months. If you are drawing on your Social Security and receiving your monthly Social Security checks, then in most cases you don’t need to do anything. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail approximately 3 months prior to the month of your birthday. Once you receive your Medicare card it will show your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B effective dates. These dates, in most cases, start on the 1st of the month in the month of your birthday. By keeping your Medicare card you are saying that you do want to participate in the Medicare program. If you decide you don’t want to participate in Medicare Part B then you must return your card. When it comes to opting out of Medicare Part B you could be subject to a penalty of 10% per month of the Medicare Premium for every month you are not on Medicare Part B. If you choose to keep your Medicare insurance, you will now need to explore your options in regards to insurance to compliment your Medicare coverage. You can explore Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans to see what is going to best fit your needs. You will also need to explore Medicare Part D options. If you don’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, you will also be subject to a penalty. Once you have secured your Medicare Benefits, you will have a total of 7 months to look at insurance plans. You have 3 months prior to your Part A and Part B effective date. The month of your birthday, and 3 months after.
Please feel free to contact Columbia River Insurance Services and talk with an experienced agent who can assist in guiding you through the Medicare maze. Our services and expertise are a free service to you. Call Today!
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for further information visit : www.medicare.gov
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