In the month you turn 65, you become eligible for Arizona Medicare, but do you actually have to go on Medicare health insurance when you turn 65?
On Jan. 1, 2011, the first of the United States’ 78 million Baby Boomers reached the age of 65. Between 2011 and 2030, around 10,000 Baby Boomers will reach this milestone every day.
If you’re almost 65, you’re probably thinking about registering for Medicare. At the age of 65, you reach the age of Medicare eligibility. If you delay your enrollment, penalties can be the result. Therefore, it's important to act if you’re signing up.
Let’s find out if you must register for Medicare health insurance when you turn 65?
There are several options you can choose when you sign up for Medicare. There are four programs:
- Medicare Part A – This covers hospital stays.
- Medicare Part B – This covers doctors’ fees.
- Medicare Part C – This part permits beneficiaries to receive care from several delivery options.
- Medicare Part D – This covers prescribed medications.
There are also Medigap policies, also called Medicare supplemental insurance plans. These offer extra coverage to people enrolled in Parts A and B.
How Does Medicare Enrollment Work?
The enrollment period for Medicare health insurance when you turn 65 starts three months before you reach your 65th birthday. It continues for the next seven months.
If you receive Social Security benefits, there’s no need to take any action. You will have automatic enrollment in both Parts A and B from the month of your birthday. If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll need to register.
If you’re still at work, what action should you take?
If You Are Still Employed to You Need Medicare Health Insurance When You Turn 65
Are you still at work and covered by a Colorado employer’s health coverage plan? Then you may not need to register for Medicare Part B health insurance immediately when you turn 65
You’ll need to determine whether your employer’s coverage is the primary insurer. If Medicare is the primary insurer, you’ll need to register for Medicare Part B. Whether or not you decide to enroll in Part B, you should enroll in Part A. This pays some costs that your employer’s health plan won’t cover.
If your employer’s health plan is the secondary insurer, you’ll need to enroll in Part B during your enrollment period. Bear in mind COBRA coverage won’t count for Medicare. VA benefits and retiree coverage won’t count either. Your health coverage has to be from the employer that you’re currently working for. Also, if your employer has less than 20 employees, you’ll probably have to register for Part B.
What Happens If I Don’t Enroll in Part B on Time?
If you fail to enroll in Medicare Part B when you turn 65, you may face penalties or surcharges. The premium for Part B increases over time, going up by 10 percent for every year you were eligible for Part B but didn’t take it. You’ll also need to wait until the general enrollment period opens to register. This is between Jan. 1 and March 31 every year.
What About Medigap Insurance?
With coverage exclusions, copays, and deductibles, Medicare will pay for only around 50 percent of your medical costs. You can buy Medigap insurance to cover a lot of the balance that Medicare doesn’t cover. Private health insurance companies in Arizona can supply this type of coverage.
What Is Medicare Advantage?
Another name for Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage. If you have Parts A and B, you can also have Part C. This plan provides all Part A and B coverage. It also offers extra coverage for things, such as dental, hearing, vision, or wellness programs. Most Part C plans also include prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D Coverage
If you aren’t signing up for a Part C plan with prescription medication coverage, you’ll need Part D coverage. You can enroll in one of these plans when you register for Medicare Parts A and B. For each month you delay your enrollment beyond your initial period, your premium will go up. It increases by a minimum of 1 percent.
You’ll be exempt from Medicare penalties, however, if you didn’t enroll because of your coverage from a private health insurer. This must, however, offer coverage that is equally good as that provided by Medicare. It’s known as “creditable coverage.” You should ask your insurer whether its coverage is creditable.
Do I Need to Enroll in Medicare When I’m 65?
So, do you have to be on Medicare health insurance when you turn 65? The answer depends on your circumstances. If you are no longer working, the answer is definitely yes. However, if you’re still working, you’ll need to check with your employer about your existing coverage. It may still be worth enrolling in Medicare Parts A and B, even if you’re still employed.
Get Help from an Arizona Licensed Medicare Insurance Broker
Working with an Arizona Medicare insurance broker is the best way to help you navigate the many Medicare questions you may have. Health insurance brokers can help you find quality plans at an affordable rate.
Call us to schedule your free consultation.
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