Important questions about Medicare: Answers that you need to know

Important questions about Medicare: Answers that you need to know

Medicare is a National Health Insurance program for individuals 65 years and older. We hear of important things such as the electoral college but how many really know how it works and why? It’s the same with Medicare: we know it’s important but many are not aware of what it is, what it offers and how to enroll.

  • Do you know when the Medicare Enrollment period takes place? It starts 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65.
  • Do you know that you may not receive Medicare automatically? It depends. Initial Medicare Enrollment Period: Most people get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) during this period. If you’re not already collecting Social Security benefits before your Initial Enrollment Period starts, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare online or contact Social Security.
  • What happens if the enrollment period is missed? If you sign up late for Medicare Part B, you will have to pay a late penalty premium every month for the rest of your life, along with your Part B premium. Your monthly Part B premium will go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Medicare Part B but did not take it.

Medicare is valuable as we begin to reach age 65. Does that mean we wait to understand it? No. Transitions happen smoothly when planning is involved. Be ready, be aware and take time to learn.

The Oregon Senior Health Insurance Assistance is available to help. 1-800-633-4227.

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