Registering for Medicare – Queens Gazette
Dear wise senior,
Can you give me a brief overview of Medicare enrollment choices as well as when and how to enroll? —Approaching 65
Medicare enrollment rules and timelines can be confusing for many new retirees, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Here is a simplified overview of what you need to know.
First a quick review. Remember that original Medicare has two parts: Part A, which provides hospital coverage and is free for most people, and Part B, which covers doctor’s visits and other medical services. , and costs $170.10 per month for most registrants in 2022.
When to register
Everyone is eligible for Medicare at age 65, even if the full Social Security retirement age is 66 or older.
You can enroll at any time during the “Initial Enrollment Period,” which is a seven-month period that includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months after your 65th birthday. It’s best to enroll three months before your birth month to ensure your coverage begins when you turn 65.
If you happen to miss the seven-month enrollment window for Medicare Part B, you will have to wait until the next “General Enrollment Period” which runs from January 1 to March 31 with benefits beginning the following July 1. . You will also incur a 10% penalty for each year you wait beyond your initial enrollment period, which will be added to your monthly Part B premium. You can enroll in Part A without premium at any time. time and without penalty.
Special rules apply if you qualify for Medicare and are still working. If you have health insurance coverage through your employer or your spouse’s employer and the company has 20 or more employees, you have a “special enrollment period” in which you can register. This means you can delay enrolling in Medicare Part B and are not subject to the 10% late enrollment penalty as long as you enroll within eight months of losing this coverage.
Be aware that the original health insurance does not cover prescription drugs, so if you do not have credible drug coverage from an employer or union, you will need to purchase a drug plan from a private insurance company (see Medicare.gov/plan-compare) during your initial enrollment if you want coverage. If you don’t, you’ll incur a premium penalty — 1% of the national average premium ($33 in 2022) for each month you don’t have coverage — if you enroll later.
If you choose the original Medicare, it’s also a good idea to get a Medigap (Supplemental Medicare) policy within six months of enrolling in Part B to help pay for things that aren’t covered by health insurance such as co-payments, coinsurance and deductibles. See Medicare.gov/medigap-supplemental-insurance-plans to shop and compare policies.
Instead of getting the original Medicare, plus a Part D drug plan and a Medigap policy, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead (see Medicare.gov/plan-compare) which covers all in one shot. Nearly half of all new Medicare enrollees enroll in Advantage plans.
These plans, which are also sold by insurance companies, are usually available through HMOs and PPOs and often have cheaper premiums, but their deductibles and copayments are usually higher. Many of these plans also provide coverage for additional services not offered by Original Medicare, such as dental, hearing, and vision coverage as well as gym/fitness memberships, and most plans also include coverage. prescription drugs.
How to register
If you are already receiving your Social Security benefits before age 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B, and you will receive your Medicare card approximately three months before your 65th birthday. It will include instructions for returning it if you have professional coverage that entitles you to late registration.
If you do not have Social Security, you will need to register either online at SSA.gov/medicare or by phone at 800-772-1213.
To send your Senior questions at: Clever Senior, PO. Box 5443, Norman, Okay 73070, Where visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a donor at the NBC Today Pin up and author of “the Clever Senior” delivered.
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