If you are a baby boomer and confused about Medicare, you are not alone.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that on average 10,000 boomers are turning 65 every day, and we have a lot in common. Many of us will continue to work, either out of necessity or choice.
If you are currently receiving Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled in Parts A and B.
If you are not receiving Social Security, your Initial Enrollment Period starts three months before your birthday, your birth month and three months after your birthday.
If you have group health insurance through your employer or spouse, you may not need to enroll in Part B. Please check with your human resource department or health insurance carrier.
The costs for Part B are in the table below.
There are four parts to Medicare:
Part A: Covers hospital
Part B: Medical coverage, doctors, etc.
Part C: Medicare Advantage combines Parts A and B and in most cases Part D. This is coverage through an insurance carrier.
Part D: Prescription drug coverage
If you do not enroll when you are eligible, you may pay a penalty for as long as you have Medicare.
Original Medicare pays 80 percent of your health care costs, so it is important to purchase a supplement or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Should you require hospitalization or have a critical illness, the 20 percent that Medicare does not pay could bankrupt you.
Your Medicare election is one of the most important decisions that you will make. Please consider your options carefully.