Frequently Asked Questions (Medicare):
1. When am I eligible for Medicare? You are eligible on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. If your birthday is on the 1st of the month, you are eligible the 1st of the month prior.
Example: If your birthday is July 24th, you are eligible July 1st. If your birthday is July 1st, your are eligible June 1st.
2. How do I sign up? If you are already receiving social security benefits, you will be signed up automatically and receive your Medicare card within 2 months of your 65th birthday. If you are not receiving social security, you will want to contact social security to enroll in Medicare Part A & B. You can enroll online (www.ssa.gov), by phone (1-800-772-1213) or in person (at your local social security office).
3. When should I sign up? I’d recommend starting the sign up process with social security 3 months before your 65th birthday. However, you can sign up – 3 months before your birthday, the month of your birthday or 3 months after your birthday. Your coverage effective date will be based on when you sign up.
4. What is covered? Original Medicare consists of two parts. Part A covers hospitalization, skilling nursing and hospice care. Part B covers outpatient services, such as office visits, lab/xray and durable medical equipment. In general, Medicare covers 80% of expenses and you are responsible for 20%. However, Medicare does NOT cover prescription drugs.
5. How much does it cost? For most people there is no cost for Part A. However, Part B has a standard monthly premium of $134. Individuals with income higher than $85k or couples with income above $170k will pay a higher Part B premium.
6. What if I’m still working? If you are still working AND you have employer group health coverage, you may want to delay your Part B coverage until retirement (instructions included with your Medicare card). You will have another opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part B when you lose your employer’s health coverage without penalty.
7. Where can I find out more about Medicare? Mutual Benefits Inc specializes in helping individuals navigate their Medicare options. You can contact our office with questions. You can also visit www.medicare.gov.