Almost 65: How do I get Medicare?

Three months prior to your 65th birthday you need to sign-up for Medicare through Social Security either online at https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib or phone at (1-800-633-4227).
Even, if you choose to continue to work you are typically automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A.*

Who is Eligible to Sign Up for Medicare?

  1. 64 years and 9 months old (Medicare will then start the first of the month you turn 65)
  2. You receive a disability pension from the railroad retirement board and meet certain conditions
  3. You have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months
  4. You receive Social Security disability benefits because you have Lou Gehrig’s disease
  5. You worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid, and you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months
  6. You are the child or widow(er) age 50 or older, including a divorced widow(er), of someone who has worked long enough in a government job where Medicare taxes were paid and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program
  7. You have permanent kidney failure and you receive maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant (under certain conditions)

I am Not Ready to Retire, Do I Still Sign Up for Medicare?

Yes and no. You will start Part A the first day of the month that you will be turning 65, but you may delay Medicare Part B coverage until your job-based or retirement insurance ends. You will want to talk with your insurance agent at Design Benefits, LLC, and/or your HR person to ensure that your coverage is creditable.
If your insurance is not creditable you’ll want to look into Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Prescription drug coverage.

What is Medigap?

Medigap plans are extra insurance to help fill in the gaps where Medicare leaves off. The main reason to have these plans is because they offer extended hospitalization coverage, but these plans may also cover your insurance when you travel to another country, blood transfusions, deductibles, and excess charges.
To learn more about Medicare, Medigap, and how it works click here!

What is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "Part C" or "MA Plans," are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare pays these companies to cover your Medicare benefits. If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, the plan will provide all your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. These plans typically provide additional benefits as well, like Dental/Vision and fitness benefits.