Confused about what happens when you turn 65?
By: Dora Guldborg
Are you turning 65 this year? You are probably full of questions. When does Medicare start? How much will it cost? I'm here to help you.
Most people are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. More specifically if you have received your Medicare card it will begin the first day of the month you are born. For example My mother will turn 65 December 20th. Medicare actually starts for her December 1st. The exception to this rule is if you were born on the 1st of the month. An example is if your birthday is July 1st. Your Medicare will start June 1st.
People on disability for a certain amount of time also qualify for Medicare but I will focus on those turning 65 for today.
Your Medicare card and information about what amount will be coming out of your Social Security check every month should come a few months before you turn 65. Normally you don't have to do anything unless you DON'T want Medicare.
Everybody pays a premium for Medicare part B. Some people will argue and say that they don't pay. They just don't realize it because it almost always comes directly out of Social Security. The premium goes up a little bit most years. The premium for 2009 is $96.40. Those who have high incomes may pay more for their part B premium. It comes out of your check every month which saves you from having to send it in.
Some people also pay a premium for part A but it is much less common. For 2009 it is
either $244.00 or $443.00 depending on circumstances.
Those are the only premiums you pay for Medicare. Most people only pay $96.40 for their Medicare which is pretty cheap insurance and is also pretty decent insurance. You are required to have a Medicare Prescription Drug plan. If you choose not to you may have to pay a penalty in the future if you decide to enroll in a plan.
You are not REQUIRED to have any supplement to Medicare although many choose to.
Turning 65 may mean making changes but don't worry they won't hurt too bad.
Many choose to have some sort of supplemental coverage in addition to Medicare. While Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPD) are not supplements they can be very helpful for people. Especially folks who need a bit more than Medicare alone but can't quite afford a supplement. Keep in mind that you don't have to worry about pre-existing conditions. In some states MA's and MAPD's are free while in others you will pay a low premium. You then make reasonable co-payments. You may ask why you would want to do that when Medicare is already paid for.
A couple of reasons. First you won't pay deductibles. You have immediate coverage. Secondly in many cases you will have a maximum out of pocket. This may not seem important but if you have a tough year and end up in the hospital a few times your out of pocket expenses on Medicare alone can be kind of expensive. At this point there is NO maximum out of pocket on Medicare alone.
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