Q: I am turning 65 soon, what do I need to know to successfully navigate the Medicare system?
A: Happy Medicare birthday! This is a big milestone and deserves a celebration. Here are a few things every new 65-year-old should know:
1. If you are already drawing Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled into Parts A and B. Your Medicare will begin on the 1st of your birthday month and your monthly payment will be automatically deducted from your Social Security check.
2. If you are still working and have an employer group health plan (EGHP), you most likely will NOT need Part B. You will “delay enrollment” until you are ready to retire. Plan to contact Social Security about 3 months in advance. Your employer will confirm creditable coverage and arrange for your Part B to begin the first of the month after your EGHP ends. Cobra does not count as EGHP, consult a licensed agent before electing Cobra if you are 65 or older.
3. Once your Medicare Parts A and B are in place, you may select additional coverage such as Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicare Supplement (Medigap) and/or Part D plans.
4. If you recently moved here, even if you came from neighboring counties, a change in location can open up new plan options. You have 63 days after you report a change of address to select new coverage if it is available, so be sure to reach out to a local agent and inquire.
5. For those already enrolled in a Medicare plan, the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is right around the corner (October 15 – December 7)! During this time, everyone with Medicare can review plans for the upcoming year and make changes that will become effective on January 1st.
6. In the event you discover you selected the wrong coverage, you are allowed to make a 1-time change during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) between January 1 and March 31.
7. Finally, if you are happy with your current plan, you do not need to do anything. Your plan will automatically renew.
Medicare can be confusing; meeting with a local agent costs you nothing! The professionals at Health Insurance & Retirement Advocates can make navigating this landscape effortless. Our office is nestled in the heart of downtown Mount Dora and provides a comfortable setting to have this meaningful conversation. We pride ourselves on Making Medicare Easy and look forward to helping you make an informed decision.
411 N. Donnelly St., Suite 300, Mount Dora, FL 32757