Seniors Biggest Mistake when getting Medicare
Written by: Dave Majher | Last updated February 12, 2021
The number one mistake we see Seniors make when they turn 65 and can receive Medicare is waiting too long before applying for it. Medicare allows an individual who is turning 65 a seven-month period where they can sign up for Medicare A&B and not be penalized. The three months before the birthday month they turn 65, the month they turn 65 and the three months after they turn 65.
There are certain situations when you will not have to apply for Medicare A&B. For example, if you are already receiving your social security or railroad retirement benefits your Medicare A&B card will automatically be sent to you to start on the month you turn 65.
Rookie FACT: Did you know if your birthday falls on the 1st of the month your first month to be eligible for Medicare will be the month before you turn 65.
However, if that is not the case you will have to apply for your Medicare A&B with Social Security. The Social Security website recommends applying three months before you turn 65. If you procrastinated and did it two or one month before you turn 65 you will be ok but after that and you will run into problems.
This is where you are at the mercy of the Medicare chart, what we call the lost months of Medicare, see below….
If you are still working and on your company health plan you might say well that will not apply to me because I will have a special enrollment when leaving my company plan and getting Medicare Part B. That will depend on when you are leaving your company plan. If you leave it during those 7 months of initial enrollment when turning 65 the initial enrollment supersedes the special enrollment. Therefore, you want to make sure when leaving your company plan to do it at least 4 months after you turn 65 or later.
This is where an agent can help big time in coordinating and setting up your Part B Medicare to start when your company insurance ends or on the first month when you turn 65.
We usually will start working with our clients three months out from when they will be turning 65 to help them setup the enrollment into Medicare Part A&B. We also help them find out what their best options are If they plan on continuing to work as they could delay Part B and continue their company health plan - see article on should I stay or go.
Can you enroll two months or one month before turning 65, sure and we have helped those clients as well but be forewarned starting with your birthday month when you turn 65, you are in the hands of social security’s chart, and the lost months of Medicare.
Getting ready to look at your options when receiving Medicare at 65, call us at 216-659-7230 or click on the below No-Cost Consultation button below.