If you were born in the year 1950, you’re in good company –so were Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. So were actors Bill Murray and Martin Short. Sharing a birthday with these icons isn’t the only reason to celebrate, if you turn 65 this year you are also eligible to enroll in Medicare!
As most of us know, Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people over the age of 65 that has is important for allowing older Americans to live healthier lives. There are many benefits to having Medicare, so you should enroll as soon as you become eligible.
Before your birthday, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to think about the different coverage options that might work for you. Talk to your doctor about your long-term health needs, consider the prescription drugs you take regularly and if those will be changing soon, ask questions about what your employer or former employer offer and start reviewing the plans that are available in your area.
Your friends who have gone through the process can be great resources, but remember, everyone has different health needs, so take the time to explore your options. If you want some professional guidance, you can set up an appointment with your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Additionally, your local Area Agency on Aging office can answer any questions you have.
The first step is to determine if you are eligible for Medicare. Medicare.gov offers a simple and easy questionnaire to get you started. If you are eligible, you can go a step further and calculate your premium in a few easy steps. This will help you to plan out when you should apply for Medicare and how much it will cost.
For those over the age of 65 that are enrolled in Social Security, you will automatically receive enrollment materials from Medicare 3 months before your birthday and your coverage will go into effect on the first day of the month you were born. But even though some things happen automatically, there are a lot of choices to be made! Be sure to do your research.
Learn more about the various coverage options here to see what works for you.
For more information on Medicare, check out our resources page. Happy Birthday 1950! Thanks for continuing to follow us at Seniors Speak Out.