Do I automatically get Medicare when turning 65? How do I enroll in Medicare? When should I sign up for Medicare? Do I need Medicare if I am covered by a group health insurance plan? How much does Medicare cost?
- Medicare is not automatic at age 65
- Enroll in Medicare in 10 minutes or less
- Sign up for Medicare Part A at least 90 days in advance of your 65th birthday
- You may not need Part B if covered by employer group health plan
- Medicare supplement plans (Medigap) is priced according to your age, gender, tobacco use and zip code
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Table of Contents
How Do I Get Medicare at Age 65?
Most people assume Medicare is automatic when they turn 65. If you are receiving Social Security benefits you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. Everyone else will have to apply.
Many people will receive Medicare Part A at no charge. If you (or your spouse) have at least 40 quarters of substantial wages in the Social Security system by the time you reach age 65 you have prepaid your Part A premiums.
If you refuse Part A you may be denied a Social Security benefit. Deferred enrollment in Medicare Part A is possible if covered by a group health plan. Otherwise late enrollment penalties may apply.
Medicare Part B is optional and carries a monthly premium.
You do not have to be employed in order to get Medicare at age 65. Some who have never worked in the Social Security system can still qualify based on the earnings record of their spouse. The same applies to widows and divorcees of a working spouse.
How Do I Get Medicare?
Signing up for Medicare is easy. I signed up in May, 2015 ahead of my September, 2015 65th birthday. You can do the same by following this link to Social Security and selecting the appropriate option.
You can track the status of your application at MySSA.gov.
Track your earnings record, review estimated Social Security benefit amount, see when your next benefit will be deposited and more.
Once you enroll in Medicare you will receive your welcome letter about a week later followed by your Medicare card in another few weeks.
Covered by a Group Health Insurance Plan?
If you are covered under a group health plan as an active employee or spouse of an active employee you may only need Medicare Part A. If you or your spouse work for a large employer (defined as 20 or more employees) your group plan may be primary and Medicare a secondary payer. In that case you may only need Medicare Part B.
Most plan participants with a smaller employer will find that Medicare is the primary payer. In that case you need Part B. Your group health plan will be a secondary payer.
In that situation it may be to your advantage to drop the group health plan and pick up a Medicare supplement plan and Part D drug plan. Ask us for details and pricing.
You can also generate your own quote using this link.
How Much Does Medicare Cost?
Georgia Medigap plans are priced according to your age, gender, tobacco use and zip code. Many plans are priced under $100 per month and offer much richer benefits than you have experienced with your current health insurance plan.
Medicare supplement plans are standardized (all plans with same letter are identical) making it relatively easy to compare plans and rates. More than 40 different F plan rates and 30 different G plans may seem confusing.
Buying on low initial price alone may come back to haunt you later. Some carriers have a history of showcasing a low initial buy-in rate only to raise rates substantially later. One well known mutual carrier has raised rates 11 times since 2012.
Let us help you find the plan that best suits your needs and budget.
Shop and compare. Free comprehensive Medigap report provided with valid email.
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