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  • Writer's pictureKate Merrill

Basics of Medicare

If you’re turning 65, you may be wondering- what do I have to do for this Medicare stuff? This article will give you a quick breakdown of the steps you will take for Social Security and Medicare enrollment, as well as the extras you can get for this monumental birthday!

Turning 65! This seems pretty straightforward- or does it? You will begin getting all manner of materials from various insurers, with many creative companies claiming some endorsement from the government- they are not and it is, in fact, illegal to make this claim! You may enroll in Medicare A and B up to 3 months before your 65th birthday, so it’s likely that you’ll start getting mail on your 64th birthday! Buursma Agency can help you with your Medicare enrollment as well as Medicare advantage or Medicare supplements.

Not only are our trained Medicare and individual agents capable of signing you up for your Medicare part A and part B benefits, but also help signing up for Social Security benefits as well.

Now for some terminology- what do all these crazy letters stand for? Each part of Medicare means something and the benefits they represent.

Part A covers hospital care, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and home healthcare. If you are employed with health coverage and 65 or older, you can waive part A as long as your company has more than 20 employees. If you are eligible for Medicare under 65, your company must exceed 100 employees and have equal coverage.

Part B helps cover services from doctors and other healthcare providers, outpatient care, home healthcare, durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and other equipment, and many preventative services- screenings, shots and vaccines, and yearly wellness visits. Part B can be waived as long as you are employed and have qualifying coverage.

Part C represents Medicare advantage plans, plans that take over part A, part B, part D drug coverage and add additional benefits to original Medicare. In order to get a Medicare advantage plan, you need to sign up for part A and B coverage.

Part D represents the Prescription drug plans, which you need with part A&B to cover the cost of prescription drugs. You must have a PDP (prescription drug plan) after age 65 if your employer’s health plan does not include a drug plan or if you are not employed. If you do not have coverage and enroll later, you are subject to a payment penalty for the number of months that you went without coverage.

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