Turning 65: Do you have your Medicare card?

I had a call the other day from a woman who is turning 65 and wanted to talk to me about her Medicare choices. She said she is working, but is self-employed.  She turns 65 in September, just over one month away. I asked her if she has her Medicare card and she said, “Huh? What is that?”

My next question:  “Are you collecting Social Security?”  Her answer:  “No, because I’m still working and don’t need my Social Security.”

I told her:  “If you were collecting Social Security, your Medicare card would be sent to you automatically.  But because you are not collecting Social Security, you need to apply for a Medicare card by signing up for Medicare A and B.  You will have to pay the Part B premium which is $104.90 each month (for most people).”

I instructed her to go to Medicare.gov and click on the box that says “Apply for Medicare”.  That will take her to the Social Security website page where she can sign up online.

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We agreed to meet once she has her card, or by mid-August.  She needs to be “in the system” in order to put in an application for a Medicare supplement, Part D, or a Medicare Advantage plan.

She told me she pays $800 for her health insurance now, and after a short conversation it was clear that her Medicare choice will be to use “orginal Medicare” and get a Medicare supplement plus a Part D plan.  I told her she can look at a brief video I have prepared titled “Introduction to Your Medicare Choices”.   This will help her get informed for our meeting in August.

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