So, You’re Turning 65…What’s Next?
February 15, 2020
The A, B, D’s of Medicare Health Care Coverage
There are several steps in preparing to receive Medicare benefits. I have included a step-by-step guide for you to follow. Please know that if you are still covered under an employer’s Health Insurance Policy, you still must sign up for Part A three months before turning 65, and receive your Medicare Card. You will not need to enroll for Part B until you are leaving an employer’s health insurance plan. This also includes Part D, and either a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement policy.
As you come off an employer’s health plan, it is hard to understand all of the health care coverage that is necessary to enroll in as you turn 65. All of the “Parts” start to roll together. By listing them below, I hope to clarify and simply this process.
Part A: Hospital coverage – available for people 65 or older.
- You must sign up for this coverage 3 months before you turn 65- even if you are staying on your current employer’s insurance plan
- You will receive your Medicare card and number
- There is no cost for this coverage
- Part A coverage goes into effect the first day of the month you turn 65.
- Please start this process three months before you turn 65.
Part B: Physician and Healthcare Provider Coverage
- You will pay a monthly premium for this coverage.
- You must sign up for Part B during the designated enrollment period, or when you can receive Guaranteed issue – i.e. when you come off your employer’s health insurance plan
- You will need to start this either at the same time as Part A, or start the process several months before you are to leave your employer’s health plan coverage.
- You may have to pay a late penalty if you don’t enroll when first eligible
Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
- There is a monthly premium for this coverage.
- You sign up through the Medicare website- www.medicare.gov
- You will need a list of the medications and the dosage that you take before starting this process.
- Please have your Medicare Card number available at this time. Your Medicare number is needed to enroll in Part D coverage.
Now that you have the A, B and D’s of Medicare, let us discuss the steps you will take to enroll in the different coverages of Medicare:
Step 1: Enroll in Original Medicare
**You need to start this process 3 months before you turn 65!**
Log in to the Social Security website and select “Apply for Medicare Only” if only starting Medicare, not Social Security. Select only Part A if you will continue to be covered under your employer’s health plan. If you will not continue with health coverage from an employer, then enroll in Part A and Part B at this time. Part B has a monthly premium that is based on your current income. When enrolling for all Parts of Medicare, those coverages will begin on the first day of the month you chose. Part A must begin on the first day of the month you turn 65. Check with your physicians to let them know you will be Medicare eligible, and confirm that you can still be their patient. Enroll in a My Social Security account. This account login link contains your Social Security and Medicare account information. All information is there for your review.
Step 2: Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Policy after you receive your Medicare Card
The Federal Government has many plans that are reviewed and chosen by each State’s Department of Insurance. As an example, three plans are offered in the State of Georgia. The Medicare Supplement policy (also known as a Medigap Policy) will help to cover most of your out of pocket expenses that are not covered by Original Medicare. This coverage helps to supplement your Original Medicare benefits. Remember, if you wish to change Medigap Plans during open enrollment, you will be required to go through medical underwriting. If you have had a health event, then you may not qualify for an upgraded or change in coverage. There will be a monthly premium for this coverage.
Step 3: Part D: Prescription Plan Coverage
Go to medicare.gov for Part D Drug coverage to see options available to you. Have all medications and the dosages available when you set up this coverage. Many different options are available to you through many different carriers. Chose a premium and deductible that fits your needs.
Explaining Social Security Benefits!
The United States Social Security Administration is an independent agency of the U.S. Federal Government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits.
Social Security is a federal government program that provides a source of income for you or your legal dependents (spouse, children, or parents) if you qualify for benefits.
You need a Social Security number to get a job. The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born, and when you give information for your child’s birth certificate.
While you work, you pay Social Security taxes. This tax money goes into a trust fund that pays benefits to those who are currently retired, to people with disabilities, and to the surviving spouses and children of workers who have died. Each year you work, you will get credits to help you become eligible for benefits when it is time for you to retire.
When you wish to apply for Social Security benefits, you need to determine your Full Retirement Age (FRA). As an example, if you were born between January 2, 1943 and January 1, 1955, your full retirement age is 66 years and 2 months.
If you are younger than full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits.
If you work and are full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn.
If you work for someone else, only your wages count toward Social Security’s earnings limits. If you are self-employed, you count only your net earnings from self-employment.
You need to discuss when to begin Social Security benefits with your Financial Advisor. This will have an impact on any draw down of Retirement assets that may be available.
Financial Advisor, Capital Investment Services
Financial Advisor, RJFS
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