Medicare eligibility begins at age 65 for most people. Boomers born in 1951 are next up to join the ranks of Medicare beneficiaries. Below are some useful tips to help get a head start on learning the basics about Medicare:
- You Have a Set Time to Enroll in Medicare
Your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is 7 months long, which includes:
- the 3 months before the month you turn 65
- the month of your 65th birthday
- the 3 months after the month you turn 65
- You Can Delay Medicare Part B
Most people get Part A (hospital insurance) premium-free because they or a spouse worked and paid taxes. Part B (medical insurance) has a monthly premium and therefore you may want to delay signing up for Part B if you have other health care coverage, such as through an employer or union. You must qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to avoid a late enrollment penalty if you delay Part B.
- There Are Different Ways to Get Medicare
Medicare gives you coverage choices, which include:
- Original Medicare (Parts A & B) – the traditional way
- Medicare Advantage (Part C) – an alternative to Original Medicare
- Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) – secondary to Original Medicare
- Medicare Doesn’t Cover Everything
Original Medicare does not cover all costs associated with hospital and medical insurance, and it does not include prescription drug coverage. You may buy a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) to help get the prescription coverage you need.
Don’t let Medicare enrollment sneak up on you. Before you make a decision, you can get local, personalized Medicare counseling from us – at no cost to you.
Call 941-405-3900 for more information about your Medicare choices.