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Turning 65, Ready for Medicare

If you’re turning 65 in Illinois soon, you will be able to enroll in Medicare, a federally funded program that provides hospital and medical insurance to seniors. For most, enrollment is automatic. Transitioning to Medicare can be confusing. Take a few minutes to become familiar with the coverage and cost of Medicare.

Part A

Part A is free for most people as long as you receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you don’t need to do anything and your Medicare card will be sent to you by mail.

Part B

A Part B premium will be deducted from your Social Security payments each month. In 2024, the standard premium is $174.70

Enrollment

When you first become eligible, you enter what is called your Initial Enrollment Period. This is a 7-month period of time beginning 3 months before your birthday month, and extending 3 months after your birthday month. This is the time to enroll in Medicare or enhance coverage with additional benefits. If you delay, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (Jan 1- Mar 31) of the following year and may also be charged a Part B late enrollment penalty.

Additional Benefits

Medicare covers much of your health care, but it doesn’t cover everything. It’s up to you to decide if you want to supplement coverage with additional benefits. Understanding your options will make it easier. Medicare Advantage (Part C) enhances Medicare by delivering all of your Parts A, and B, coverage and extra benefits. You are responsible for paying a monthly premium as well as the Part B premium. Medicare does not provide coverage for prescription drugs. Two ways to get benefits, join a Part D plan, or a Part C plan that already includes prescription coverage.

 

 

 

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References:

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-parts-a-and-b/when-sign-up-parts-a-and-b/when-sign-up-parts-a-and-b.html

https://www.medicare.gov/supplement-other-insurance/medigap/whats-medigap.html

Cost of Part B: https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html

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