Whether you are about to turn 65 or already enrolled in Medicare, there are some basic things you should do to be sure you get the most out of your coverage. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions..
2. How much will Medicare cost? In an earlier blog posting http://www.breedloveinsurance.com/medicare-basics/ we reported that you usually don’t have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A. For 2013, Medicare Part B costs $104.90 per month – more if your income is higher than $85,000 (or $170,000 if you file taxes jointly).
3. What if I don’t sign up? There will be a 10% penalty for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B and didn’t sign up for it. You will have to pay higher premiums for as long as you have Medicare.
4. I’m eligible for health coverage based on employment. Can I delay signing up for Medicare? If you have health coverage as a result of your or your spouse’s employment, you may not want to sign up for Medicare. You should follow the rules for that plan. Some plans allow you to defer signing up for Medicare Part B, which will save you the cost of the Part B premiums. However, note that you should sign up for Part B if employment ceases. Getting COBRA or retiree coverage will not let you defer Part B.
5. I am receiving Social Security benefits but am not yet 65 years old. Can I get Medicare? You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you are eligible. If you are not disabled, this will be 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you are disabled, it will be on the 25th month of your disability.
6. Do I need anything more than Medicare? This is something we should discuss in depth. Medicare alone does not cover prescription drugs and Part B only covers 80% of the costs of things like doctor visits and outpatient services, including cancer treatments. The cost of this co-insurance can mount up if you get sick. That’s why many people opt to purchase a supplemental insurance policy to cover these expenses.