Tuesday, December 24, 2019

When can I sign up for MediCare? I'll soon be 65

I'll soon be 65 – when can I sign up for MediCare?
This is a common question. When a person looks for information on when it's often confusing or incomplete. So to eliminate the confusion I am pleased to share the rules for those who decided to sign up when 65. 

  Are no longer automatically signed up at 65!
  Can apply in the 3rd, 2nd, or month before 65. MediCare says when 65 is the eligible month. Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Outpatient) coverage will be effective the first of the eligible month.
  Can apply during the eligible month. Part B is effective the first of the next month but A stays the first of the eligible month.
  Can apply the month after eligible, two months after, and three months after. Part B will be effective either two or three months after applying. A stays the first of the eligible month and can be as much as six months back from B!
Those are the rules SS follows for when a person can signup at 65. 

Let’s now look at how to sign up. An Individual can:
  Sign up through Social Security's online system which is responsible to enroll people in MediCare.
  Go to the Local Social Security office. I encourage people to do this. Why? A face to face meeting with a retirement person is easy, less confusing for most, and they will: 
    + complete the Part A & B application for them, 
    + review the options to pay the 25% share of Part B's monthly base cost so the one best for their situation can be selected. B’s base cost is $144.60 in 2020.
       Note: An additional amount is added to B's base cost if the IRS 1040 AGI from two years ago is above 87 k for Single & 174 k for Joint. The rules for higher-income individuals have five other higher income levels’ and each adds an additional amount to B's base cost.
    + review SS's informative charts which are helpful in deciding the best age to start receiving benefits.

When a person has completed the signup MediCare considers them "entitled". [not enrolled]  They are then covered by:
       Part A for inpatient care in a hospital.
       Part B for medically necessary outpatient services.
       + The MediCare ID card shows entitled above Part A & B.

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