Health Plan Advice For Working Past Age 65
Meeting the age requirement for Medicare is just the beginning. Whether youre wondering, Do I have to retire to enroll in Medicare? or want to ask other Medicare questions, our Cincinnati and Dayton Medicare advisors are here to give you answers.
Call our team of experts in Medicare at 1-866-407-5180 or email your questions to .
Are You Ready For Medicare Open Enrollment
The dates for Medicare Open Enrollment have stayed the same since 2011. The annual enrollment period for 2019 runs from October 15, 2018 to December 7, 2018. If you want to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, youll need to enroll during this period. Even if youre currently happy with your plan, it pays to look into your options. You may find a more affordable plan that suits your needs even better. Here are some things to remember during the fall enrollment period.
Make Changes During Open Enrollment
If your current Medicare coverage doesnt suit your needs, you can pick a new Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan during open enrollment. For most people, the only time you can change plans is during the enrollment period. However, any changes you make to your plan do not take effect until January 1.
You Can Keep Your Current Plan
If you dont want to make changes to your current plan, you dont have to do anything. Your plan will auto-renew, provided that it continues to be available. If your plan isnt going to be available in 2019, you will receive a non-renewal notice. You will have to enroll in a new plan to ensure you have the right coverage.
The Difference Between Medicare Open Enrollment and Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment
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Are You Automatically Reenrolled In Medicare
In most circumstances, you will be automatically reenrolled in your Medicare plan. The only reason why that might not be the case is if your plan is ending, the company your plan goes through is no longer in business, or if you have missed more than three months of payments in a row.
Even though it is automatic, you should still review your plan information annually. In September every year, you will receive an Annual Notice of Change that will cover all the changes your plan will have in the next calendar year.
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Sign Up: Within 8 Months After Your Family Member Stopped Working
- Your current coverage might not pay for health services if you dont have both Part A and Part B .
- If you have Medicare due to a disability or ALS , youll already have Part A coverage.
Avoid the penalty & gap in coverageIf you miss this 8-month Special Enrollment Period, youll have to wait to sign up and go months without coverage. You might also pay a monthly penalty until you turn 65. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?
What Can I Do Next
Generally, youre first eligible to sign up for Part A and Part B starting 3 months before you turn 65 and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Because the company has less than 20 employees, your job-based coverage might not pay for health services if you dont have both Part A and Part B.
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Do I Have To Enroll In Medicare Every Year
The short answer is no, you do not have to enroll in Medicare every year. Once you have signed up for a Medicare plan, you can stick with it for as long as you are happy with the coverage.
If you havenât received a notice that your coverage is changing or some aspect of your plan is ending, it can keep going unattended for as long as you want. The only exception is if you stop paying your premiums.
That said, we recommend you review your Medicare coverage at least once a year to ensure you are receiving the coverage you need at the most competitive pricing. Medical needs change with time, and what you needed a year or more ago might look different than what you need now.
Your Medicare Special Enrollment Period
If your employer has at least 20 employees and youre still working and covered under that plan when you turn 65, you can delay your enrollment in Medicare . In that case, youll get an eight-month special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare if and when you leave your job or your employer stops offering coverage. It will start the month after you separate from your employer, or the month after your group health coverage ends whichever happens sooner.
Sign up during those eight months, and you wont have to worry about premium surcharges for being late. And the eight-month special enrollment period is also available if youre delaying Part B enrollment because youre covered under your spouses employer-sponsored plan, assuming their employer has at least 20 employees.
But note that in either case, it has to be a current employer. If youre covered under COBRA or a retiree plan, you wont avoid the Part B late enrollment penalty when you eventually enroll, and you wont have access to a special enrollment period to sign up for Part B youll have to wait for the general enrollment period instead.
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Choose Coverage For Prescription Drugs
Once youve completed Steps 1 and 2, youre ready to decide about your drug coverage.
Medicare doesnt cover the cost of most prescription drugs. Still, there are two ways to sign up for insurance that will help pay for your medications: If you stay on Original Medicare, Parts A and B, you can buy a standalone policy specifically for prescription drug coverage. This policy is called a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
If You Already Receive Benefits From Social Security:
If you already get benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn age 65. You will not need to do anything to enroll. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your 65th birthday. If your 65th birthday is February 20, 2010, your Medicare effective date would be February 1, 2010.
Reasons To Delay Medicare
If youre thinking about deferring Medicare, discuss the pros and cons with your current insurer, union representative, or employer. Its important to know how or if your current plan will work with Medicare, so you can choose the most comprehensive overage possible.
Some of the common reasons you may want to consider deferring Medicare include:
- You have a plan through an employer that you want to keep.
Applying For Medicare Online
Applying for Medicare online is a quick and easy process on the Social Security website, taking approximately ten minutes. After you have applied for Medicare online, you can check the status of your application and/or appeal, request a replacement card, and print a benefit verification letter.
Once you apply for Part B, give us a call so we can help you choose a supplement plan to cover what Medicare doesnt.
If youre not comfortable applying for Medicare online, you can do so over the phone.
What Happens If I Miss My Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period
Your eligibility may be impacted if you miss the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period:
- Your application could be declined if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
- Your premium may be higher if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
- Some plans may require you to pay the plan premium but wait for a few months before theyll cover any expenses related to your pre-existing medical condition.
What If Im Not Automatically Enrolled At 65
If your Medicare enrollment at 65 is not automatic, but you want to enroll, here are some more magic numbers.
3 and 7.
To start taking advantage of Medicare at 65, you need to sign up during the three months before the birthday month you turn 65. Those are the first three months of your seven-month Initial Enrollment Period.
Unless your birthday is on the first day of the month, your Initial Enrollment Period includes the three full months before turning 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after you turn 65. If you were born on the first day of the month, IEP is the four months before your birth month, along with your birthday month and the two months after.
If you sign up during one of the months before your 65th birthday, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month you turn 65 .
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When Can I Enroll In Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare prescription drug coverage is optional and does not occur automatically. You can receive coverage for prescription drugs by either signing up for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans are available through private insurers. Please note that you cannot have both a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan and a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Eligibility At 65 And Older
The year you turn 65, you can apply for Medicare starting three months before your birth month until three months after. You generally have to meet three eligibility requirements to qualify for full Medicare benefits when you turn 65.
The chief requirement is that you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived at least five years in the United States.
In addition, you have to meet one of the following other requirements:
- You or your spouse must have worked long enough to also be eligible for Social Security benefits or for railroad retirement benefits. This usually means youve worked for at least 10 years. You must also be eligible for Social Security benefits even if you are not yet receiving them.
- You or your spouse is either a government employee or retiree who did not pay into Social Security but did pay Medicare payroll taxes while working.
Paying Medicare payroll taxes for 10 full years means you wont have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital care.
You dont need the work credits to qualify for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits or outpatient services, or Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs. But everyone has to pay premiums for both.
You can still get Medicare if you never worked but it may be more expensive depending on your spouse or total work history.
Prepare for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
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Enrolling In Original Medicare
When it comes to Original Medicare, enrollment could be a piece of cake. If youre already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits and youre a U.S. resident, the government automatically enrolls you in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B at age 65. Three months prior to your 65th birthday, your Medicare card will arrive in the mail with instructions.
At this point, youll have the option to turn down Medicare Part B . But you probably wont want to do that unless you have coverage from your own or your spouses current employer, and the employer has at least 20 employees. Thats a valid reason for delaying your enrollment in Medicare Part B.
If you decide to not enroll in Part B, but plan to enroll at a later date, know that you could end up having to pay a higher premium 10% higher for each year you could have enrolled, but didnt. The penalty doesnt apply, however, if the reason you didnt initially enroll in Part B coverage was that you had employer-sponsored health insurance from your current employer, including TRICARE from current military employment.
If you havent yet enrolled in Social Security but are eligible and want to begin receiving benefits, you can enroll online, or at a local Social Security office. Be sure you understand how your benefits depend on the age at which you start receiving them, and theres no right or wrong answer in terms of when you should activate your benefits.
Medicare Faqs And Information To Consider
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Federal Retiree benefits, your enrollment in Medicare is automatic. Your Medicare card should arrive in the mail shortly before your 65th birthday. Check the card when you receive it to verify that you are entitled to both Medicare Parts A and B.
Initial Enrollment Period:
If you are not eligible for Automatic Enrollment, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or enroll online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or visit the nearest Social Security office to enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. You have a seven month window in which to enroll in Medicare without incurring a penalty. If youre not automatically enrolled in premium-free Part A, you can sign up for it once your Initial Enrollment Period starts. Your Part A coverage will start six months back from the date you apply for Medicare, but no earlier than the first month you were eligible for Medicare. However, you can only sign up for Part B during the times listed below.
General Enrollment Period:
- General Enrollment Period for Medicare Parts A & B
If you have coverage through a current employer, you are not required to enroll in Medicare Part A and B. Below are some things to keep in mind about each part of Medicare.
Make Sure You Understand Your Costs
Medicare Part A is usually premium-free, but there is a monthly premium for Part B coverage, paid to the Social Security Administration. This premium is usually deducted from your Social Security benefit, or you are billed quarterly. See the Medicare Fact Sheet and/or the Social Security website for standard rates.
If your income has gone down, you may use form SSA-44 from the Social Security Administration ” rel=”nofollow”> www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-44.pdf) to request a reduction in your income-related monthly adjustment amount.
The UC-sponsored medical plans coordinate Medicare Part D coverage with the plans coverage. Most people are not charged a premium for Part D. However, as with Part B, you may pay a Part D premium based on your income. Check with Social Security to see if you are required to pay a Part D premium. These Medicare premiums are in addition to any premium you pay to UC for your UC insurance.
How Can I Make Changes To My Medicare Advantage Coverage
The fall open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year, is an opportunity to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or to switch to Original Medicare if you think it would serve you better.
If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan even if you just signed up during the most recent annual enrollment period and your coverage only took effect on January 1 you can switch to a different Advantage plan or to Original Medicare during the annual Medicare Advantage open enrollment period. This window runs from January 1 to March 31, and has been available since 2019. It only applies to people who are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans a person with Original Medicare cannot switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during this window. Instead, that enrollee would need to use the annual enrollment period in the fall to make that change.
If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan and want to switch to a different Advantage plan during general open enrollment or the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, your existing plan will disenroll you with no lapse in coverage. Any changes you make during general open enrollment will take effect January 1. If you make a change during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period, it will take effect the first of the following month.
Ready to enroll in new Medicare Advantage or Part D coverage? Discuss your plan options right now with a licensed Medicare advisor. Call
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Naturalization Certificate Or Certificate Of Citizenship
You can request a copy of your Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can fill out Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship, either online or by mail, to have a copy of these documents sent to you.
To submit this form, youll need to pay a $555 fee and send in two identical passport-style photos of yourself. Youll also have to send in a sworn statement if your document was lost or a police report if it was stolen.