Saturday, May 30, 2020

Signing up for Medicare Part B after working past 65 is somewhat complex but it is now a little easier!

Individuals signing up for Medicare, whether at 65 or later after working past 65, do this through the Social Security (SS) system. There is an application for Part B (outpatient services) to complete, which also activates Part A (hospitalization situations). When working after 65 Part A is backdated six months from the date assigned to Part B.

Individuals working past 65 have another form to complete. They take it to their employer, dates covered by the company medical plan are listed, it is signed, and return to the SS office. This form gives them a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B and avoids paying a late enrollment fee. SS offices have been closed so this process has been complex.

Pleased to report SS announced May 28th a way for a person, leaving an employer plan and wanting to sign up for Medicare, to complete the forms online. Information about this, the steps to be completed, and a link to begin to apply can be found here.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Beware of deceptive Medicare TV ads!

One company has flooded cable TV here in Southeastern CT for some time with – call to get better Medicare coverage – ads!

Why are the ads deceptive?

  A person on Medicare can only get additional benefits in a Medicare Advantage plan, and some of the “you can get” things mentioned are not available to everyone. Just individuals who qualify for a Special Needs Plan!

  Also, eligibility for the Dual Special Needs Plan with additional benefits such as – rides to the MD is connected to income. The sports figure –  saying I got these – would never qualify for this coverage!

  The ad encourages everyone on Medicare to call today. However, the only time people living in Southeastern CT can change their Medicare health plan is in the fall during the Oct 15 to Dec 7 Annual Enrollment Period.

  Yes, someone turning 65 can sign up in any of the three months before, the month when 65, and during the three months after.  However, the ad does not say – call if you will soon be 65.

To make matters worse – a second company now has a Medicare ad – thus more reason to beware.

The Medicare system has complex rules on what I, as a health insurance professional, helping people with Medicare, can say and when. Thus, this is frustrating to me when the same restrictions do not apply to TV ads!

John C Parker, RHU, LTCP
Niantic CT