Select Page
  • Are you turning 65?
  • Are you a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States?
  • Have you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years (or 40 quarters) during your working years?

Guess what?! You’re Covered!!

 

If you answered yes to all 3 questions you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, and you will receive your Medicare card in the mail about three months before your 65th birthday.  Now that’s a birthday present.

note: If you are you are already receiving Social Security, or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you won’t even need to apply for Medicare.

 

First let’s define exactly what Medicare is as a whole.

 

Medicare is like a helping hand from the government in the United States, and it’s been around since 1965. It’s mostly for folks aged 65 and up. The money for Medicare comes from taxes paid by people who work, whether they are employees, employers, or self-employed. These funds are kept safe in something called the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which is part of the U.S. Treasury. Basically, Medicare is there to be your go-to healthcare buddy when you’re older, making sure you have all the coverage you need after you retire.

 

So what is Medicare Part A and Part B?

 

Medicare Part A is your Hospital Insurance.  Part A helps cover inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and some home health care.  Most people do not have to pay a premium for Part A if they or their spouse paid Medicare taxes while working.

Medicare Part B is your Medical Insurance. Part B helps cover doctor’s services, outpatient care, preventive services, and some medical equipment and supplies. Beneficiaries usually pay a monthly premium for Part B.

But wait, there’s more…

Medicare Parts A through D

Medicare has different parts that cover different aspects of healthcare.

Medicare Part C is your Medicare Advantage, or an alternative way to receive Medicare benefits. Private insurance companies approved by Medicare offer Part C plans. These plans often include Part A, Part B, and sometimes prescription drug coverage (Part D) all in one. Medicare Advantage plans may also offer extra benefits like dental, vision, and fitness programs.

Medicare Part D is your Prescription Drug Coverage, helping you cover the cost of prescription drugs. It is offered through private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. You typically pay a monthly premium for Part D, and it helps reduce the cost of your prescription medications.

Lastly is Medigap, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance.  Medigap policies are sold by private insurance companies to help fill the gaps in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage. These policies can help pay for some of the out-of-pocket costs like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that Medicare doesn’t cover.

So in short, there are four the main parts of Medicare (Parts A, B, C, and D), and Medigap as an additional option to help cover costs not covered by Original Medicare. It’s important to understand your options and choose the parts of Medicare that best fit your healthcare needs.

 

Do I have to be Retired to Qualify for Medicare?

While 65 is the standard age for retirement, no you do not have to be retired to qualify for Medicare. Many people do enroll in Medicare when they retire because it’s often linked to their retirement benefits.  But as long as you are 65, whether you are working or not, you qualify for Medicare.
 

 

Enrollment is Easy!

 

When it is time enroll in Medicare, you have a few options for how to do so:

1. Automatic Enrollment:

As mentioned earlier, if you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B, and you will receive your Medicare card in the mail about three months before your 65th birthday.

 

2. Enroll Online:

You can enroll in Medicare online through the official Social Security website. The online enrollment process is straightforward, and you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Visit the Social Security website and follow the instructions for applying for Medicare.  Another online source is the Medicare website.

 

3. Visit a Social Security Office:

You can also enroll in person by visiting your local Social Security office. You can find the nearest office by using the Social Security Office Locator on their website. Be sure to call ahead to schedule an appointment and to confirm the documents you’ll need to bring with you.

 

4. Call Social Security:

If you prefer to enroll by phone or have questions about the enrollment process, you can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives can assist you with the enrollment process and provide guidance on your specific situation.

 

5. Enroll During the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP):

You have a seven-month window to enroll in Medicare that begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and extends for three months afterward. This is called the Initial Enrollment Period. Timing is of the essence, so make sure you can enroll during this time to avoid any potential late enrollment penalties.

It’s important to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period if you are not automatically enrolled, as there may be penalties for late enrollment. Additionally, if you have employer-sponsored health coverage, you may have different enrollment options and timing, so make sure  to check with your employer’s benefits department for guidance.

 

Also note that if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or health insurance based on current employment, you may want to ask your HR office or insurance company how signing up for Medicare will affect you.

Enrolling in Medicare when you turn 65 ensures that you have access to the healthcare coverage you need as you enter your retirement years.

Senior couple that is happily covered by Medicare

So Consider This…

Medicare can indeed be a great and reliable option for healthcare coverage when you turn 65, providing essential medical services and peace of mind for many older adults.

If you or someone you know is approaching the age of 65, it’s a good idea to start exploring your Medicare options and consider enrolling in the program when the time is right.  Rikki Tops Insurance can be your guide. Keep in mind that there are different parts of Medicare, so you can customize your coverage to suit your specific healthcare needs.