As agents, we most often get questions about enrolling into Medicare. I have been working with people turning sixty-five for the past ten years. The process has been the same since I started in the insurance business in 2008.
Medicare as people know it is called Original Medicare and is made up of two parts called Parts A and B. There are two ways people receive Medicare. One is voluntary, and the other is an entitlement.
Let’s start with Part A since it is the first letter in our alphabet. Medicare Part A is an entitlement to those of us in the United States that have worked and paid our FICA tax for 40 quarters. There are some other ways to qualify as well and we will cover those in another blog posting. Once you have worked for forty quarters, Medicare Part A is an entitlement to you. You do not have to enroll, call anyone or sign up for an entitlement. When you turn sixty-five, Medicare Part A will be given to you. When you turn sixty-five and have paid forty quarters of FICA tax, Medicare Part A is yours.
Medicare Part B is voluntary. You are either conditionally enrolled or you will need to sign up. Medicare Part B is paid through a monthly premium which in 2019 is $135.50 per month. Payment is collected in one of two ways. If you are collecting your Social Security check, $135.50 will be deducted from your check every month to pay your Part B premium. If you are not collecting your check, the Social Security Administration will bill you for your premium.
The Medicare Enrollment period begins three months before the birth month and continues until three months after. If you are collecting your monthly Social Security Benefit, then you will be conditionally enrolled and your Medicare card will automatically arrive three and a half months before your sixty-fifth birthday at your address on file with Social Security. For example, if your sixty-fifth birthday is in December, your Medicare coverage is set to take effect December first. Therefore, your enrollment period begins September first and your Medicare card will arrive at your house sometime around August fifteenth.
If you are not collecting your monthly Social Security Benefit, then you will need to take action to enroll in Medicare Part B. You can call Social Security at 1(800)772-1213 or go into your local Social Security office. However, signing up online by far is the fastest and easiest, so you can also enroll online atmedicare.gov or SSA.gov. You can not enroll in Medicare Part B until your enrollment period begins. If you do nothing, your Medicare Part A only card will arrive about two months after you turn 65.
When people are approaching their enrollment period, they start to get bombarded with Medicare advertisements in their mailbox. Meeting with one of our agents from Sun Coast Legacy Advisors can help you get your questions answered and simplify the process of going onto Medicare. We recommend that if you are getting ready to turn 65 that we get together for our Meet and Greet appointment about 5 to 6 months before you are getting ready to turn 65. We will be able to educate you on your options for coverage and present you with a timeline of key date and benchmarks leading up to starting Medicare at 65.
Turning 65 can be simple and easy. Sun Coast Legacy Advisors is here to help you through the process. Email or Call today to schedule your appointment.