What Month Does Medicare Coverage Begin?
Medicare coverage begins in the 3rd month following the date of your 65th birthday. For example, if you are turning 65 on January 31st, your Medicare coverage begins on April 1st.
Medicare Part A
What is Medicare Part A?
Medicare Part A, also known as Hospital Insurance, helps pay for inpatient hospital care and other facility and home health care.
Who is eligible for Medicare Part A?
All persons with Social Security numbers, who have worked long enough in the United States, and paid the required payroll taxes are eligible for Medicare Part A, regardless of age. If you are under 65, you will also be required to pay a premium.
How much does Medicare Part A cost?
Medicare Part A has a premium that is similar to some of the high-deductible plans that are available on the private market. The premium for Medicare Part A in 2016 is $407.80 per month. If you have had Medicare Part A for at least 60 months and you have not yet reached your birthday, you can switch to a lower premium.
Medicare Part B
What is Medicare Part B?
Medicare Part B, also known as Supplementary Medical Insurance, helps pay for most medical services, including:
Hospital outpatient care
Exams and tests
Home health care
Who is eligible for Medicare Part B?
All persons with Social Security numbers, who have worked long enough in the United States, and paid the required payroll taxes are eligible for Medicare Part B, regardless of age.
How much does Medicare Part B cost?
If you did not work long enough to qualify for Medicare Part B as part of the standard Social Security benefit, you can purchase the benefits at any time for an annual premium. In 2015, the premium for Part B coverage was $121.80 per month.
Medicare Part D
What is Medicare Part D?
Medicare Part D, also known as Prescription Drug Insurance, helps pay for prescription drugs.
Who is eligible for Medicare Part D?
All persons with Social Security numbers, who have worked long enough in the United States, and paid the required payroll taxes are eligible for Medicare Part D, regardless of age.
How much does Medicare Part D cost?
Medicare Part D has a monthly premium, and is similar to some of the high-deductible plans that are available on the private market. The premium for Medicare Part D in 2016 is $35.20 per month.
What can I do if I can't afford my Medicare premium?
The good news is that if you are having trouble paying your premiums, you may be eligible for the Senior Discount Program. The Senior Discount Program allows you to pay an amount based on your income. If you are still having trouble with the cost, you can contact the Health Insurance Marketplace to find a plan you can afford.
What can I do if I have trouble paying my Part B and Part D premiums?
The United States government has a program that helps people who are having trouble with these costs. The program is called Extra Help, and it allows individuals to pay a reduced premium for their Medicare Part B and Part D drug coverage.
How do I get Extra Help?
Contact a Social Security office, or call 1-877-690-1012 and speak with a representative who can help to determine your eligibility.
Do I have to do anything to maintain my Medicare coverage?
In order to maintain your Medicare coverage, and to ensure that you are qualified for the services you are using, you must sign up for Medicare before your birthday date passes. If you are not sure what your birthday date is, or if you have questions about signing up for Medicare, you can contact Social Security and they will be able to help you. To contact Social Security, you can call 1-877-690-1012.
What if I am still working?
If you are still working, you are not eligible for Medicare Part A unless your employment meets the "reserve requirements." You will not be able to get Medicare Part B or Part D until you reach your 65th birthday, unless you have qualifying end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or Lou Gehrig's disease.
What if my spouse is still working?
If your spouse is still working, he or she will be eligible for full Medicare Part A benefits when you reach your 65th birthday.
Do I have to have Medicare Part B if I have Medicare Part A?
No, and in fact, most people do not have Medicare Part B. If you do not have Medicare Part B, you will not be able to see a doctor who does not accept Medicare.
Do I have to have both Part A and Part B?
No, but you will want to have both parts. Without Part B, you will not be able to see a doctor or have any medical services that are not provided by a hospital or an approved hospice.
Do I have to have Part D if I have Part B?
No, but you will want to have Part D. Part D helps pay for your prescriptions, and without it, you will have to pay for all of your prescriptions completely out of pocket.
Do I have to have both Part B and Part D?
No, but if you have both, your prescription costs are generally much lower.
Do I have to be covered by Medicare if I have coverage through my spouse?
If you are covered under your spouse's insurance, you are covered under Medicare as well. You are eligible for all Medicare benefits and you will pay the same premium as your spouse.
Do I have to be covered by Medicare if I have coverage through the military