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Medicare Q&A

When you're turning 65 you'll face several decisions regarding your healthcare.  This article will share resources for you to turn to so you can get the answers you need for the questions you're sure to have.

The most common healthcare questions people have when turning 65:


Q: Do I have to sign up for Medicare?

A: If you don't have employer-sponsored group insurance, the answer is you need to sign up for Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Medical) to avoid penalties for late enrollment.  If you have group insurance that will continue after you turn 65 you'll want to sign up for Part A (hospital) unless you're contributing to an HSA.  For a detailed explanation go here https://www.medicareinteractive.org/get-answers/coordinating-medicare-with-other-types-of-insurance/job-based-insurance-and-medicare/health-savings-accounts-hsas-and-medicare


Q: What happens if I don't sign up for Medicare Part B when I should?

A: If you didn't get Part B when you're first eligible, your monthly premium may go up 10% for each 12-month period you could've had Part B, but didn't sign up. In most cases, you'll have to pay this penalty each time you pay your premiums, for as long as you have Part B. And, the penalty increases the longer you go without Part B coverage.


Q: How and when do I sign up for Medicare Parts A and B?

A: Some people get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) automatically and other people have to sign up for it. In most cases, it depends on whether you’re getting Social Security benefits.

If you're receiving monthly Social Security benefit payments each month, you can expect to receive your red, white and blue Medicare card about 90 days before the first of the month when you turn 65.

If you aren't receiving your monthly Social Security benefits and you want to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B, then you need to sign up to get Part A and Part B.  You can do this online by going to https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare.  If you don't have enough frustration in your life you can go to your local Social Security office and apply.  Call first because you'll probably need an appointment.


Q: Can my spouse get on Medicare when I do?

A: If they are 65 or older then yes.  However, if they're under 65 you'll need to make sure they can continue the health insurance they have.  If they're covered by your group insurance you may need to keep that coverage for both of you until you decide to retire.


Q: What about Part D (Prescription drug coverage)?

A: If you have employer-sponsored coverage and it has prescription drug coverage that is creditable, (this means the employer coverage is expected to pay on average as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage) then you can delay enrollment in Part D until you lose your employer coverage. Your employer should notify you whether your coverage is creditable or not.

If your coverage is NOT creditable, then if you want prescription drug coverage you should sign up for Part D when you're first eligible, or you'll pay a late enrollment penalty if you decide to enroll at a future date.


Q: What's not covered by Medicare? 

A: Long-term care (also covered custodial care), most dental care, eye exams related to prescribing glasses, dentures, cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, hearing aids and exams for fitting them, and routine foot care.

If you plan on travelling out of the country, understand Medicare has very limited coverage outside the United States.  For more details you can visit:



For more information or to ask questions about your situation, you may contact me at

800-465-3164 or email me at kevinkaye1@yahoo.com.


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