Everything You Need to Know About Medicare (But Were Afraid to Ask)
December 20, 2017 | Debby Jesser
We’re passionate about Medicare and health insurance but we’ll be the first to tell you: it’s confusing. With the ever-changing laws and legislation, staying on top of what you need to know about Medicare is a challenge.
No need to be embarrassed – here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Medicare that we hear from real people.
Do I need to sign up for Medicare?
If you start receiving Social Security Income prior to 65 your Medicare part A and B will be started for you automatically. You should receive your card with both A & B effective dates between 90 and 100 days prior to your effective date. If you’re receiving group coverage [Groups of less than 50 can force you to sign up for part B] at the time you reach age 65 you have an option not to sign up for part B. You or your spouse must be actively earning your group coverage. COBRA is not a viable option for 65+ individuals. If you currently have “Creditable” drug coverage you have an option not to sign up for part D coverage. You can collect Social Security and not start your Medicare. Determining if you should stay on group coverage is a big decision and you should talk to a Medicare Professional to determine if you are giving up any options by doing so.
How do I sign up for Medicare?
Apply online at SocialSecurity.gov
Visit your local Social Security Office
Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)
When Will My Medicare Start?
For most People the earliest you may start your Medicare is the first day of the month you turn 65. If you’re born on the 1st of the month you are eligible for the first of the preceding month. If you’re receiving social security disability or have certain diseases you may be eligible considerably earlier call for details.
What Is Medicare Part A, Part B and Part C?
Medicare Part A, Part B and Part C are different coverage levels. What choice is best for you depends on your employment status, maital status and physical needs. We have a full breakdown of what’s included in each plan so you can find the one that works best for you.
What is covered by Medicare when I am out of the United States?
Generally, Medicare does not cover anything while you are out of the U.S.
What is covered by Medicare when I leave my state of residence?
Medicare is a Federal program-it will work the same when you travel state to state. Medicare works the same, your plan may not. This is something to go over with your agent.
Can I use my doctor with my Medicare plan?
If you use an agent, this is something they would make sure happens. Not all insurance companies work with all clinics. Not all clinics work with all insurance companies.
If you are a Veteran do you need a Part B plan?
It depends. Not all Veterans can access VA benefits and also the VA has a closed formulary so it is possible that a qualified veteran will need a plan to access that medication.
Can I keep my Medicare if I move to another state?
It depends on the type of plan you have purchased.
If you still have questions, we invite you to attend one of our in-person Medicare workshops.