One of the many benefits of turning 65 is to be eligible to receive Medicare regardless of your health. If you are enrolled in, or are receiving social security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare A and B when you turn 65. Your Medicare benefits will become effective on the first day of your birth month. The only exception is if your birthday falls on the first day of the month. If this is the case then your effective date would be the first day of the previous month.
While both Medicare Part A and B are automatic, you do have the choice to refuse Part B. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you approximately three months before your 65th birthday. Your card will come with a booklet and instructions should you choose to refuse Part B.
Many people can easily be confused about the different parts of Medicare. Part A is the premium free portion of Medicare and is considered to be your hospital insurance. Part B requires a monthly premium and covers the medical portion which includes things such as doctor’s visits, home health care and some preventive services. Part C is Medicare Advantage. These are plans approved by Medicare and offered by private companies. Part D is prescription drug coverage. You are not automatically enrolled in Part C or D and they do involve additional premiums.
Many people covered by Medicare Part A and B purchase a Medicare Supplement policy, also known as Medigap or MedSup insurance. People find this type of coverage helpful because Medicare does not pay 100% of medical expenses. There is a yearly deductible for Part A and B and the coverage is usually 80%. Medicare Supplement policies cover the majority of the gaps.