Medicare can take time to fully understand. There are lots of options and it can seem a bit intimidating at first. When nearing retirement age, it is a good time to start looking into Medicare. Not everyone knows where to even begin when it comes to Medicare, but there are a few things that can help individuals better understand the process.
- Different parts of Medicare: The different parts of Medicare cover different aspects of medical services. One part covers hospital services (Part A), another part covers doctor visits and outpatient services (Part B), and the last part covers prescription-drug costs (Part D). All individuals who qualify for Medicare are eligible to receive all 3 parts.
- When to sign up: Not all parts of Medicare require you to sign up. If you are already receiving benefits from Social Security, then there is no need to sign up for Part A and Part B of Medicare. But if you aren’t already taking benefits, you would need to sign up. The enrollment period begins 3 months before you turn 65.
- The higher your income, the more you pay: With traditional Medicare, if you make over a certain amount, the premiums for Parts B and D can come with a surcharge. If your adjusted gross income is over $85,000 for single and over $170,000 for married filing jointly, then there is a surcharge.
- There are many enrollment periods: There are more enrollment periods in addition to the initial seven-month enrollment period. The enrollment period for Part B runs from January 1st to March 31st with coverage beginning on July 1st. Open enrollment is the same every year, from October 15th to December 7th, where individuals can make changes to Part D for the following year.
Medicare doesn’t have to be a confusing process. Once you get familiar with a few things, it becomes easy to understand. If you or a loved one needs assistance with Medicare planning, the Care Assistance Center is happy to help. Contact us today to get started.