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Medicare Enrollment Checklist

  • Determine if you should enroll in traditional Medicare.
    • If you are eligible for Medicare because you’re turning 65 and will continue to work, there are a few things you need to consider. If you are covered under your employer’s plan, you may not need to enroll in Medicare Part B right now. However, it may be beneficial for you to start using the Medicare system for your healthcare needs as opposed to your employer’s plan. Talk to you HR rep about this.
    • If you aren’t working, consider enrolling in Medicare Part A and B to avoid paying late enrollment penalties later.
  • If you decide to apply for Medicare, know the deadlines.
    • If you’re now eligible for Medicare because you turned 65, you’re in what we call the initial enrollment period (IEP). There’s a 7-month window where you can apply for Medicare, it starts 3 months before you turn 65, and runs 3 months afterwards. For example, if your birthday is April 15th, you can apply for Medicare from January through the end of July.
    • If you have worked beyond your 65th birthday and was covered under your employer’s plan, you probably missed the IEP period, but you can still apply using a special election. You have 60 days from the termination of your employer coverage to enroll in Medicare. There’s a form you will need from your employer to show that you were covered under their plan. Talk to your HR rep about this.
  • Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage
    • Once you decide to enroll in Medicare, you will soon learn about the significant gaps in coverage that could leave you with huge medical expenses. Adding a Medicare Supplement plan or enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan could help lower some of this financial exposure. We’ll talk about the differences in these two types of covered in a different post, but right now it’s important that you understand what your options are. Learn more about the differences in the two plan types here.

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