- Do you know how and when to sign up for Medicare benefits?
- Do you understand the relationship between Medicare Supplements and Advantage plans?
- Do you Understand the open enrollment periods and the consequences of choosing a plan?
- Are you required to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65?
Most Americans upon reaching age 65 will qualify for Medicare health benefits if they or their spouse have worked for 10 years (40 quarters) or more during their lifetime. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits you will receive your Medicare card for Part A (Hospitalization) and Part B (Medical) in the mail approximately two months before turning age 65. If you are not receiving Social Security, then you must apply for Medicare through the Social Security Administration. Failure to do so may result in a penalty, but is Medicare the best option for you?
Generally, most people will sign up for Medicare when they reach age 65. If, however, you are still working and qualify for an employer group plan, you may opt to stay with the group plan and accept only Medicare Part A while delaying Part B. When you finally decide to retire and lose your employer group coverage, contact Social Security and have your Part B activated. You will have eight months during a Special Enrollment Period to do this.