Turning 65 or Retiring after 65? Read this

Turning 65 or Retiring after 65? Read this

You won’t be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B unless you took your Social Security at age 62. You are only enrolled in Part A when you turn 65 (and only enrolled in premium free Part A if you or your spouse paid into it for 40 quarters).

The reason this is the case now is because the age that someone gets fully vested into social security is increasing. It used to be age 65, so when someone applied for their Social Security benefits, Medicare would be notified that they were turning 65 and mail out a card with both Part A and B activated. If someone didn’t want Part B at that time (because of group coverage most likely) they’d sign the attachment refusing coverage.

What I find is happening now is that people expect their Medicare card to arrive with Part A & B activated automatically and both aren’t, their card arrives with only Part A activated. They may not look at it closely, they just tuck it away and when the time comes to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, there is a “uh-oh” moment because they assumed they were all set to go and now they have to scramble to get to the Social Security office and get the Part B portion activated.

The protocol now for Part B to be activated is either going online to Medicare.gov to do that, or going in to the closest Social Security office. The earliest you can activate Part B is 3 months prior to your 65th birthday.

You must have both Part A and Part B active in order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplemental plan. Part A covers Hospitalization, Skilled Nursing and Hospice to some degree and Part B covers 80% of Outpatient and all Physician services. There is a lot of financial exposure having only Original Medicare and nothing else to fill in the gaps. Medicare doesn’t cover outpatient prescription drug coverage either, you have to enroll in a plan offered by a private insurance company. If you’re curious to learn more about your options when you turn 65, please call to schedule a consultation. My services are always free.

Stephanie Frisch

Stephanie Frisch is the owner of Insurance 101 and is an independent insurance broker dedicated to helping others make “educated decisions” about their insurance choices when it comes to Medicare, Long-Term Care Planning, The Health Insurance Marketplace-Covered California and Life Insurance. For answers to your questions, or an in-home, no-fee consultation, call (949) 351-2443.