When can you collect Medicare
There is one important question many people need the answer to; When can you collect Medicare.
When can you collect Medicare:
If you are going to turn 65, you should plan to sign up for Medicare. You are eligible to receive Medicare at the age of 65. In fact, if you delay your enrollment you will be charged a penalty that will last the entire time you receive Medicare benefits. If you are disabled you can sign up for Medicare any time otherwise, you must be 65 years old to receive Medicare benefits. Unfortunately, many people think you can get Medicare when you are eligible for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, if you retire early at age 62 you still have to wait until 65 to claim Medicare benefits.
You can sign up for Medicare three months before you turn 65 and for the 3 months after. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in both Medicare Part A & B the beginning of the month you turn 65.
There are many choices to make when you sign up for Medicare:
Medicare has four main parts: The first part is Medicare Part A, Part A covers hospital stays. Second is Medicare Part B , Part B covers doctors fees and medical expenses. The third part is Part C also know as; Medicare Advantage. If you choose to use a Medicare Advantage plan, it will take the place of both your Medicare Part A as well as Part B. This means it will cover hospital care and doctor visits. The last part is Part D. Part D covers prescription medications. There are also plans called Medigap or supplements that you can purchase to help pay the 20% of Medical costs that Medicare A & B do not cover. So you can cut down or eliminate your out-of -pocket expenses.
If you are still working and receive health insurance from an employer:
You may not need to sign up for Medicare Part B immediately. It is important to meet with your employer to find out whether the employer’s plan is the primary insurer. If you will have Medicare, for your primary insurer, then you need to sign up for Part B. Either way, you still need to sign up for Part A. This can help with some of the costs your group health plan does not cover.
If you don’t have employer health insurance, or when your employer coverage is secondary to Medicare, you must enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period.
Important; Medicare does not consider Cobra, retiree coverage or VA benefits as a health insurance plan. In order for a plan to be considered health coverage by Medicare, you must be actively working for an employer with 20 or more employees. You must either have an approved health plan or you must sign up for Medicare Part B in order to avoid penalties.
If you delay signing up for Part B:
You will be subject to a penalty of 10% for every year you were eligible and did not sign up for Part B benefits. In addition, you will have to wait for the general enrollment period to enroll. The general enrollment period starts January 1 and goes to March 31 each year. If you enroll during this period, your coverage will begin on July 1.
When can you collect Medicare, Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage:
Before you enroll in Part C /Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare Advantage Plans provide all of your Part A and Part B coverage. Some of these plans offer options, such as vision, hearing, dental, and wellness programs such as discount gym memberships. Many of these plans include Part D/prescription drug coverage.
After you consider deductibles, copays and exclusions, There are a good portion of medical expenses that Medicare does not cover. Medigap or Medicare supplement plans can help you pay the health care costs left over after Medicare pays their portion. If you would like more information on these plans, please contact us either by phone (203)796-5403 or email at [email protected]
When can you collect Medicare, Medicare Part D:
Medicare part D is prescription drug coverage. If choose not to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, you should enroll in a prescription drug plan. You should enroll in Part D coverage when you sign up for Part A & B. If you do not sign up for some type of Part D coverage, you will receive a 1% penalty for every month you wait to sign up after your initial enrollment period. You will not receive a penalty if you have drug coverage from a private insurer (retirement plan). This is referred to as credible coverage. Check with your insurer to verify that your coverage is credible.
This is a lot of information and it can be confusing, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Click here to learn more about Crowe and Associates