I’d like to talk to you about when to sign up for Medicare and if you need to sign up for Medicare.
That’s the questions that I get asked the most when it comes to people getting around the age of 64. You are actually eligible for Medicare the first day of the month that you turn 65. If your birthday was February the 18th, your Medicare is going to kick in February the first.
You’re going to be eligible for Medicare if you have worked at least 40 quarters in your lifetime, paid into taxes at least 10 years. Or, you are married to somebody who paid in the FICA for 10 years. That is your eligibility for Medicare.
There are currently 51 million people on Medicare. So, three to four months before you are going to turn 65, you’ll want to go down to your local social security office, and talk to them about signing up for Medicare part B. (You don’t really have to sign up for Medicare part A, because that is going to be automatic and there is no cost for Medicare part A.)
Don’t Miss the Enrollment
Medicare part B’s going to cost you a premium and three to four months prior to your 65th birthday is when you’re going to want to start the process because, if you miss the enrollment in Medicare part B, you’re going to be penalized 10% on the premium for the rest of your life. It’s very important that you enroll in Medicare when you become eligible, which is actually the first day of the month that you turn 65. But, they’ll allow you to enroll up to three, four months before you turn 65.
Medicare Part D
The Prescription Drug Program, Medicare part D, is also very important to enroll in and is the same as Medicare part A, and Medicare part B, you become eligible the first day of the month that you turn 65. There’s also a penalty involved if you do not enroll in Medicare part D when you become eligible.
Enrolling in Medicare
The best way to enroll is to go down to your local social security office and let them know that you want to enroll in Medicare part B, and Medicare part D.
I have a lot of people ask me, “Well what if I’m still working, Rodney? What if I’m on group health insurance?” If you’re on group health insurance you need to sit down with an advisor like myself, and determine if the group health insurance is better coverage and more cost effective or less cost effective than enrolling in Medicare. That’s a very important determination because this is going to affect your healthcare for the rest of your life.
One of the biggest decisions that you have to make if you’re currently working and on a group program, or if you’re married to somebody who’s on a group program, is determining whether to stay on the group health insurance, or enroll in Medicare.
That’s a decision that you need an advisor to help you with, and that’s what I’ve been doing for 27 years. It’s a pretty tough decision. We weigh out the cost of staying on the group versus going on Medicare, and we also have to weigh out your health situation, and whether Medicare is going to be better coverage than what the group is.
Those are very important decisions that you have to make, and you should be considering those decisions about three months before you turn 65 years of age.
I’m RL Jones, I’m here to help you with those decisions. I’d love to have a conversation with you. Just give me a call, or shoot me an email.