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I'm 65 years old. How about Medicare?



As a colleague of mine recently approached the age of 65, he realized that he needed to learn enough about Medicare to avoid making a bad decision. He was not alone. According to AARP, more than 61 million Americans will receive Medicare benefits by 2022. I think it is safe to say that many could use some guidance to make the right decisions regarding this valuable but complex program.

Let's start with the basics.

19659003] Medicare has three main parts: A, B and D.

  • Medicare part A refers to payments to hospitals and similar facilities.
  • Medicare Part B is for payments to doctors, surgeries and similar services. [1
    9659005] Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs.

For more information on Medicare Costs 2021, see the "Medicare Costs at a Glance" page at Medicare.gov .

Medicare Enrollment Process

If you do not receive Social Security or Railway Pensions Council benefits, you are NOT automatically enrolled in Medicare. Registration is something you must do proactively.

When you register, the most important decision to choose is whether to choose parts B and D. How you choose should depend on whether you work for an organization with more than 20 employees. Here's why:

  • If you continue to work for an organization with more than 20 employees, you can stay on your employer's health plan and delay enrollment in Medicare until you are no longer eligible for group coverage.
  • If, on the other hand, you work for a company with fewer than 20 employees or are currently enrolled in COBRA, you should sign up for Medicare Part B and D. If you do not register immediately and instead choose to wait pay more when you sign up.

Income level is also an important factor to consider when making your decision. Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) will determine your monthly premium adjustments for Medicare Parts B and D.

Medicare Options When You Are Eligible [19659003] If you visited the Medicare.gov page mentioned above , you may have noticed that even though Medicare Parts A and B provide coverage for services, they do not cover 100% of your medical expenses. There are many insurance plans that provide additional coverage, including a wide variety of plans that provide additional coverage – some even a premium of $ 0.

So what's the difference?

This chart shows the two avenues available to Medicare applicants.

 Medicare either or flow chart - source: Medicare.gov

What's next?

If you are already registered in a plan and your circumstances have changed during the year, you have the opportunity to make changes during the annual enrollment period every October 15 – December 7.

To learn more about the basics of Medicare, including open enrollment, see the 37-minute introductory webinar I conducted in October last year. If you have questions about Medicare, Life Insurance or other personal benefits, contact Kristen Edwards at 508-742-9291.


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