Help! I’m Turning 65
FAQs – Medicare:
- What happens to my health insurance when I turn 65?
- Should I stay on my employer’s plan if I plan to work beyond age 65?
- What’s the difference between a Medicare Supplement and a Medicare Advantage plan?
- Do I need a Prescription Drug Plan if I use only a few generic medications?
Every day there are 10,000 Americans who turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. If you do the math, that equals 3.65 million per year. We hear these questions every day because becoming eligible for Medicare is a big change for most people and it must be taken care of in a limited amount of time. Then there are the mountains of mail that come from insurance companies that acquire lists of everyone’s 65th birthday AND the phone calls from insurance representatives that are eager to do business with you.
It’s confusing, but it’s extremely important; the mail and phone calls are annoying, but you do need someone to guide you through the process. We all hope to reach our 65th birthday and we all have friends and family members that are approaching that age. There is a solution – call a professional health insurance agent. We are required to do annual Medicare certifications and receive training from the insurance companies that we represent. Most importantly, our first priority is to act in the best interest of our client.
You will be eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month in which your 65th birthday occurs. Your health insurance options may include continuing the coverage that you have or switching to Medicare. It is critical that you get good advice when you turn 65 because some of the decisions you make at this time will impact you for the rest of your life.
It may be in your best interest to stay on your employer’s plan or it could be wiser to move to Medicare. This could be a financial decision or it may be based on your healthcare needs. Again, get good advice.
Medicare does not pay for all your medical expenses. A Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan can be added to help cover the gap. They are different products that offer different benefits and have different eligibility guidelines. Your agent will help you determine the best fit for your needs.
Yes, everyone over age 65 is required to have prescription drug benefits. There are both financial and medical reasons. Your benefits can come from your employer plan, from a government program, from an individual policy, or from Medicare. If you don’t have a prescription drug plan at age 65 and then enroll in a Medicare plan later, you will be charged a penalty that is permanently added to your premium. The medical reason is that you never know what changes are coming in the next 6 months. If your med list changes and includes expensive drugs, it will be entirely your financial responsibility if you don’t have an insurance plan to cover it. That can get very costly, very fast.
ComPro has professional health insurance agents that are Medicare certified. We can guide you through the process. When it’s done, you will realize that Medicare is not that complicated; you just needed a professional to provide you with the education and advice to make good decisions.