We like things simple, clean, and in lists. This is a simple checklist for Medicare that we want to share with you.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is health insurance that you have been paying into for your whole working life through social security. It is health insurance for persons 65 and over, and under 65 with certain disabilities, and for anyone with permanent kidney failure or who have had a kidney transplant. You have paid for this. You deserve this. Make sure you take advantage of the benefits you have earned.
Who is eligible for Medicare?
- You are eligible if you are a U.S. citizen
- You or your spouse has worked for 10 years in Medicare eligible employment
- 65 or older
- Or suffer from a disability
When should you apply for Medicare?
Most people will be automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B. If you aren’t, you’ll want to apply anywhere within the seven month initial enrollment: three months prior to your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, or three months after your birthday.
What are the Medicare Parts?
Medicare Part A: Hospitalization: Nurse, Hospice, Hospital Stays
Medicare Part B: General Medicine: Lab Work, Physical Therapy, Doctor Visits
Most people get both once they turn 65. There is a penality if you wait too long to sign up for part B. Sign up for Medicare by visiting our Senior65 Medicare Overview page.
Medicare, check. Now what?
Depends on what you want to do. At this point you could choose to go for an HMO-type, local network with Medicare Advantage that maxes your out-of-pocket expenses at as high as $7,550 a year OR go for a Medicare Supplemental Plan that keeps the large Original Medicare network and reduces your out of pocket expenses.
What about Prescription Drugs?
This is the last stop on your checklist. Original Medicare generally doesn’t cover drugs that you administer yourself. If you go with a Medicare Advantage plan you may have Rx covered, but Medicare and Medigap does not cover your prescription drugs at the pharmacy. We strongly recommend enrolling in a Medicare Part D drug plan. You can learn more about Medicare Part D on our main overview page.
Your Todo Checklist
Once you can cross off the item list below, you are done with senior health care and ready to move on and enjoy your life.
- Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B
- Select Medigap and Medicare Part D Prescription Drugs OR
- Medicare Advantage with a built in Rx