Below is a lot of info on enrolling in Medicare – Don’t Panic! It is detailed for a reason, but we have made it easy with 4 simple steps:
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Here is some additional information on Medicare. Feel free to download these documents: Medicare Premiums for 2020 or Part D Premiums for 2020. Depending on your income at the time you enroll in Medicare, you can either pay the STANDARD premium or a higher amount, referred to as IRMA - Income Related Monthly Adjustments. If you are single and file an individual return and make under $87k or married filing jointly and make less than about $174k, you will pay just the standard Part B premium of $144.60 for 2020. The ‘look back’ is 2 years prior to when you enroll in Medicare. So for 2020 enrollment, the government will look at your 2018 income to calculate your Medicare premiums. (NOTE: You could pay more for Part D as well if you your income exceeds certain limits.)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a low income or qualify for Medicaid, you should call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and Inquire about EXTRA HELP. You may qualify for help in paying your Medicare premiums.
Your Initial Enrollment is a 7-month window that begins 3 months prior to your birthday month, includes your birthday month and 3 months after your birthday month. You are eligible for Medicare first of the month in which you turn 65. If your birthday is July 7th for example, you are eligible for Medicare July 1st and your initial enrollment is from April 1st – Oct 31st. For someone OVER age 65 who has had Employer Group coverage as their primary, they are allowed to enroll in Medicare part B at any time and can also do so online or at the local SS office.
NOTE: If your birthday is on the 1st of the month, you are eligible the prior month for Medicare.
There are 2 ways you can enroll in Medicare A and B:
#2 above is not an option during the Covid-19 shut down. You can instead download and mail applications to the local SS office or fax the completed application to the local office for quicker enrollment. For instructions, watch this video:
“Original Medicare” includes Part A and Part B. Part A is the hospitalization and is FREE (actually you have been paying taxes all your working life, so the taxes subsidizes the Part A premium.) Part B is all the out patient stuff (Dr.’s visits, tests, etc.) Part B has a cost and most people pay the Standard premium.
Since enrollment into Medicare can take a few weeks, and can be delayed further if there are questions about enrollment or your application, we recommend doing this at the beginning of your initial enrollment period; if you sign up online, you will probably get your Medicare card mailed to you in a couple of weeks. If you enroll in Medicare the three months prior to turning 65 or during your birthday month, the effective date of Medicare will be the first of the month in which you turn 65. If you enroll in the last 3 months of your initial enrollment, the SS office will enroll you in a future effective date, which can be 5 months in the future if you wait until the last month to enroll.
Most people agree, Medicare alone is not enough.
You really have one of two options to supplement AND cover Prescription Drugs:
(In both cases, you need to be enrolled in Original Medicare part A and B to get a supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.)
Our job at CB Health Insurance is to help you pick a plan that will suit your needs and budget! You can buy a drug card for as low as around $14/month and as high as $130/month, depending on your medication list; a Medicare supplement premium is based on the plan you purchase but also your age, zip code, male/female, smoker/nonsmoker, and household discounts that may apply. An MAPD plan can run from $0 up to $140/month, but there are a number of good plans well under $100 that include the drug card. This is a great option for people on a budget or trying to keep their medical premiums low. You will want to be sure to check the network of providers for these plans. Again,our office and staff can help you will all of this.
To learn more about the BEST time to enroll, the difference between Med Supp plans and how a Medicare Advantage plans work, check out my YouTube Channel:
CB Health Insurance YouTube