There are a few things you need to know about Medicare Part A and Part B, especially if you are approaching your 65th birthday. Usually, this time symbolizes retirement, vacation get-aways, and a much-needed break. The last thing anyone wants to do is weave through the maze known as Medicare. Generally speaking though, Medicare is not as scary as it seems. Here are 3 things you need to know about Medicare Part A and Part B.
1. When Do I Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B?
When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B (Part A and/or Part B). For example, if you’re eligible when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65 and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.
If you miss this enrollment window, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1-March 31 each year. Keep in mind that you may be required to pay penalties for late enrollment. One of the penalties that may affect you is your Monthly Part B premiums. They increase by 10 percent for each year you were eligible for Medicare but didn’t sign up for it.
2. How Do I Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B?
To enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213; TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. You may also visit your local Social Security office or apply online by visiting the Social Security Medicare Benefits page.
If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772.
3. What Do Medicare Part A and Part B Cover?
Just as with private health insurance, Medicare Part A and Part B have deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance. This means when you see your doctor there is an annual deductible. The Part B (2015) annual deductible is $147, after which Medicare typically pays 80% of the Medicare approved amount of the service.
Find a PlanThere’s no annual limit on what you might need to pay out-of-pocket! In short, you may be responsible for paying the remaining 20% of your Medicare related bills. This 20% is known as the Gap in your coverage. Many who sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B will purchase a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap) to cover the 20% Gap.
Simple right? 7 months to sign up, call social security to get it taken care of and you are 80% covered. If you are wondering about that pesky 20% not covered by Medicare Part A and Part B, contact us for more information.