Medicare: I’m Over 65 and Retiring
If you are planning to retire within the next year, it’s time to start thinking about Medicare and your coverage options. Understanding how Medicare works and transitioning to new medical coverage can seem confusing and overwhelming. We are here to make it easier.
▸ ▸ Come to our no-cost seminar to learn more about how to enroll in Medicare.
Who is eligible for Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that serves people ages 65 and older or people with qualifying disabilities. To qualify for Medicare, you must be a legal resident living in the United States for at least five consecutive years and meet one of the following requirements:
▸ ▸ Age 65 or older
▸ ▸ Younger than 65 with a qualifying disability (a medical or physical condition lasting, or expected to last, more than 12 months and that prevents you from working)
▸ ▸ Any age with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplant)
Some people may also be “dual eligible,” meaning they are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, also known as MediCal. When enrolling in Medicare for the first time, there are many health plan options you can consider. Your choices can be divided into three options: Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or insurance provided by your employer.
All about Original Medicare
Original Medicare is a fee-for-service plan managed by the federal government. When you sign up, you receive a Medicare card, which makes you eligible for Medicare-approved services. Original Medicare allows you to choose any doctor, hospital or other facility that accepts Medicare. Original Medicare includes:
▸ ▸ Medicare Part A (hospital coverage)
▸ ▸ Medicare Part B (outpatient coverage)
All about Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A provides hospital coverage, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care and home health care. Most people do not pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part A; you or your spouse paid for this through payroll taxes while working. With Medicare Part A you are responsible for costs when receiving inpatient care.
All about Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B provides outpatient services like visits to your primary care doctor or specialists, outpatient surgery, ambulance, outpatient medical health, durable medical equipment, outpatient physical therapy and outpatient lab work. There is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which is determined by your modified adjusted gross income reported on your tax return from two years prior. Depending on your income, you may pay more or less per month for your Medicare Part B coverage.
How to enroll in Original Medicare after age 65
Enrolling in Medicare Part A (hospital coverage)
If you were already receiving Social Security benefits when you turned 65, you were automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and should have received your Medicare card in the mail around your 65th birthday. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you may apply for Part A. You can apply online at http://www.ssa.gov/medicare or in person at your local Social Security office. Call 1-800-772-1213 to confirm Social Security office hours and holiday closures.
San Diego Social Security office locations:
▸ ▸ 1333 Front Street, San Diego, CA 92101
▸ ▸ 8505 Aero Drive, San Diego, CA 92123
▸ ▸ 626 L Street, Chula Vista, CA 91911
▸ ▸ 367 Via Vera Cruz, San Marcos, CA 92078
Enrolling in Medicare Part B (outpatient coverage)
▸ ▸ Over 65 continued …