It would seem logical to call Medicare when you’re first eligible for Medicare, because of nearing age 65, losing employer coverage, or due to disability. However, the first step is to call Social Security regarding enrollment in Part A and Part B of Medicare.
Lots of folks are suprised to learn that their Medicare Part B and Part D premiums are based on their income. In fact, Medicare beneficiares can pay more than three times the current standard Medicare Part B premium of $104.90/month. For most people, they don’t have a choice about the higher premiums. However, some people considering dropping their employer-based coverage have to take this additional premium (paid on an after-tax basis) into account.
When clients ask me whether they should leave their group plan in favor of Medicare plans, often times it’s an easy answer. Other times, it’s not so easy and I prepare a detailed comparison report, showing them a cost/benefit analysis and also explaining some unquantifiable factors. For example, the costs of their drugs might be much lower with a group plan than a Medicare Part B plan.
One of the first things I tell clients is to contact Social Security and I provide the following information taken from Medicare.gov:
- Apply online at Social Security.
- Visit your local Social Security office.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.
Please read this article from AARP for some good answers to a few basic questions about the relationship between Medicare and Social Security.
If possible, start the process early — at least a few months prior to eligibility for Medicare — and make sure you speak with an experienced, reputable agent, who knows all the “ins and outs” of Medicare!
Peachtree Insurance Advisors 678-236-1600 Greg Sanders