If you are going to be turning 65 soon or are new to Medicare, here are some recommendations and best practices to consider.

Step 1. Make sure you are eligible for and need Medicare.

Happy senior couple

To be eligible for Medicare you typically need to be a US Citizen or legal resident for the last 5-consecutive year and to have worked at least 10-years or 40 Quarters to qualify for premium free Part A. You might also qualify due to a qualifying disability or if you have end-stage renal disease or ALS.

Here is a list of people that probably need to get Medicare:

  • Retired and not covered under a group health plan.
  • Covered under ACA (Obamacare).
  • Covered under an employer plan with less than 20 people.
  • Don’t have coverage.

Here is a list of people that might be able to delay Medicare:

  • Still working and like their Credible Employer Plan.
  • Still working and have a Health Savings Account.
  • Covered under a spouses employer plan.

Step 2. Research and be ready to sign up 3 months before you turn 65.

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  • Take time to understand the parts of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D to review the basics.
  • From this, you should have a better understanding if you prefer Medigap or Medicare Advantage for your needs and coverage.
  • Check out The Medicare.gov website as a good tool, it will go over Medicare Parts A and B and what benefits they provide, or contact our office.
  • Enroll for Medicare on time:
    • If you are already receiving Social Security Retirement benefits, then you should automatically receive your Medicare ID card.
    • If you have delayed or not started Social Security – then it is up to you to start the process of signing up for Medicare either online or over the phone.
    • If you prefer, our office can show you how to enroll in about 10 minutes!

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Determine how much you’ll pay for Medicare Parts A & B.

  • You are Medicare-eligible at age 65 (or earlier if you qualify due to a disability). What you will pay for Medicare Parts B & D depends on your income. You can contact Social Security 800-772-1213 or us 970-407-9399 to determine your Part B premiums.
  • If you (or your spouse) have worked at least 10 years in the US and paid taxes during these years, Medicare Part A will cost nothing. Medicare Part B has a monthly premium that you will pay to Social Security, again based on household income.

Step 3. Enroll for additional coverage.

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Part of knowing what additional coverage you need will depend on your current situation, medical needs, and budget. Our office helps people every day with their transition to Medicare and it’s a service we provide to help guide you through the process.

Here are some additional considerations:

  • Make sure your doctor participates in the plan you’re considering, either Original Medicare or Insurance network.
  • List your medications to make sure they are part of the formulary.
  • Be sure to review other coverages that might be important like Dental, Vision and Hearing.

Make sure you are aware of ways to save money and use your benefits wisely.

We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you!

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