Understanding Medicare

iStock_000015146378XXXLargeby Stephen Merrill

I live in Orange County and many of us are still working even after the age of 65…Many people are postponing enrolling into Medicare because they are still on their employer health insurance benefits or their spouses.  Below is some information that may clear up a few mysteries…

Q: What if I’m still working and on my employer group plan or my spouses employer plan?

A: Typically Part A (hospital), is sent to you prior to your 65th birthday.  You earned it through your taxes paid.  Part B (doctors, specialist, those services outside the hospital), does not need to be initialized until you leave your employer coverage.  Once you leave you will need to initialize your Part B to not incur a penalty. Social Security (SS) will withdraw the premium from your monthly SS check, or if you delay your SS you can pay it directly on a quarterly basis.  Medicare will begin the first of the month following your exit from the employer plan ~ no lapse in coverage.

Q: Can I go onto Cobra until I can figure out all the Medicare Options?
A: Highly discouraged.  Cobra does not qualify as “creditable health insurance coverage” and you will be given a penalty to pay a higher part B premium and Part D (drugs) that stays with you year after year!  We are available to educate you on your options at no charge.  You will be able to make an decision with your eyes wide open on your options.

Q: How do I sign up for Part A & Part B if I’m already on Social Security?

A: Once you turn 65 you will get your Part A.  If you have no other “creditable coverage” you have 3 months prior to your birthday, your birthday month and 3 months after to initialize your part B and to enroll in a supplemental plan to cover the gaps in your “Federal Medicare” plan. If you delay signing up for additional coverage after your birthday month your coverage will be delayed.

Q: How do I sign up for Part A & Part B?

A: Contact Social Security 3 months before you turn age 65.  To sign up ~ go online at www.medicare.gov, or call (800)-772-1213, or visit your local social security office in person (call first to make an appointment).

Part A (premium‑free) and Part B (for which you may pay a higher monthly premium based on last 3 years tax returns) As of today the minimum is $104.90/month.

For more details or questions about activating your Medicare, please call me.  One Call Does It All! 949.584.2634

Please be AWARE of any emails or phone calls you get regarding soliciting the sale of a medicare policy.  Medicare is a highly regulated Federal program.  Phone calls and emails are not allowed unless “you” have invited the

Stephen is an Independent Certified Agent whose goal is to present choices in Medicare Insurance and simplify the process.  As an Independent Agent, he can provide an unbiased review compare plans/ help minimize costs.  He does not work for Medicare. “I make house calls!” No Cost/No Charge (949) 584-2634


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