When should you sign up for Medicare?

If you are already drawing Social Security when you reach the age of 65, you will automatically be signed up for Medicare and receive a welcome packet around your 65th birthday.

If you are retired and not drawing Social Security when you reach 65, your initial enrollment period runs three months before you turn 65 to three months after. If you do not sign up during this period, you will have to pay higher premiums when you do sign up for Medicare.

If you are still working and covered by your employer’s insurance, or if your spouse is still working and you are covered under your spouses’ insurance, (as long as the employer has at least 20 employees) you may delay taking Medicare until you retire. When you sign up for part B when you retire, you are required to furnish proof that your employer has covered you with insurance since your 65th birthday. Most people will go ahead and sign up for Medicare part A since it is usually no cost. The one exception to signing up for Medicare part A is if you have a high deductible health care plan with a health savings account (HSA). IRS rules do not allow you to contribute to an HSA once you start Medicare.

TRS Retirees: Most retirees allow their school district to continue paying their health insurance through August, and they start TRS Care insurance September 1 of their retirement year. If the retiree is 65 on or before September 1 when TRS care starts, they will need to sign up for Medicare and start part A and B September 1. It is a good idea to sign up two or three months before September 1.

What do Medicare Part A and Part B Cover?

Part A – hospital stays, skilled nursing, home health service and hospice care. (In most cases no cost)

Part B – doctor services and other outpatient services. (You will pay $121.80 or more based on income)

How Do I Enroll InMedicare?

To enroll in Medicare contact Social Security at 800-722-1213 or www.socialsecurity.gov. to learn more about how your employers health care plan works with Medicare go to www.medicare.gov/publications and view the booklet “Medicare and Other Health Benefits: Your Guide to Who Pays First.” Or call 800-633-4227 to request a free copy.

If I don’t qualify for Medicare on my own record, can I get it from my spouse’s record?

Even though you may not qualify for monthly cash benefi ts on your spouse’s Social Security record, you can
still get Medicare on that spouse’s record if you are 65 or older and if you can’t get Medicare on your own
record.