“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.”
-Frank Lloyd Wright
Turning 65-years-old is a milestone. You are now eligible for Medicare and the benefits you will be entitled for will begin on the 1st day of the month you that you turn 65. If your 65th birthday falls on the first day of the month, you will begin receiving benefits on the 1st of the month prior. This process can be confusing and intimidating. Many people question whether or not they’ll automatically receive these healthcare benefits or are unsure about what needs to be done when they turn 65.
When should you register for Medicare Benefits?
Depending on your retirement benefits, you may automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. However, some people will need to complete their signup process manually. For example, if you are already receiving retirement benefits from either the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board, you may automatically be signed up. If this is the case, you will receive your Medicare card approximately three months prior to your 65th birthday. Then your benefits will kick in as explained above, on the first day of your birthday month or the first day of the month prior. To ensure that you receive your Medicare card by mail, you can update your address on the online My Social Security account portal.
If you are not eligible for automatic signup, you can manually apply for Medicare on the Social Security website, via phone or visit your local office to apply in person (before you are eligible for benefits). Alternatively, if you were ever employed for a railroad, you will be able to apply through the Retirement Railroad Board.
What if I am still working at 65?
You may not be eligible for retirement benefits at 65 if you are still employed and receiving healthcare coverage. In this scenario, you will need to register for Medicare once you retire or when you no longer have access to employer coverage. There may be special enrollment periods where you can sign up for certain Medicare plans, such as Medicare Part B. You could be subject to late-enrollment penalties if you don’t enroll when you are first eligible.
What are the Parts to Medicare?
Medicare Plans are broken down into 4 different parts: A, B, C, and D. Part A covers hospital stays; premium is free if you’ve worked for at least 10 years. Part B medical insurance covers doctor visits, preventive care, as well as outpatient care. Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan, which is a private sector alternative (you will need to have both Parts A and B first to be eligible), and Part D is your prescription plan coverage.
Am I required to sign up for Medicare when I turn 65?
Whether or not you are still employed, you are required to sign up for Part A of Medicare when turning 65. There is no premium for Part A. However, if you do not sign up in time, you may be subject to penalties, which is 10% added to a monthly premium. You are not required to sign up for Parts B or C if you are working and part of a group insurance plan.
Medicare doesn’t cover everything you may need. It’s important for you to find out what is and isn’t covered so you can plan accordingly. If and when you qualify for Medicare, UrHealth Benefits will guide you through the process and provide you with the resources you’ll need to make informed decisions based on your individual healthcare needs. Have questions or need help navigating the system? Click Here to contact UrHealth Benefits!