Knowledge is power
and understanding Medicare empowers you to optimize your healthcare, control over your wallet, and your piece of mind.
Question: When can I enroll in Medicare?
Answer: Medicare has several enrollment periods:
- Your IEP (Initial Enrollment Period) occurs when you first become eligible for Medicare by turning 65 or with a qualifying disability. Unless you have other creditable coverage, you could be subject to late enrollment penalties if you miss this enrollment opportunity.
- SEP’s (Special Enrollment Periods) are available when you experience life changing events like:
- dropping or losing an employer group health plan
- qualifying for extra help for prescription drug costs (LIS)
- Qualifying for Medicaid
- Losing Medicaid eligibility
Question: How to I enroll in Medicare?
Answer: If you are taking, or applying for Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in parts A and B. If you are not taking Social Security benefits, you can apply online at ssa.gov, or in person by scheduling an appointment with Social Security. Call us, we can help make this process easier!
Question: What do I do if I’m still working when I turn 65?
Answer: You have options. You should consult with a Medicare insurance broker to determine whether it is better for you to go with the employer group plan, or if you should enroll in Medicare. Everyone’s situation is unique and this decision effects your access to care and your wallet. Factors that should be considered are:
- What is your current premium, deductible and co-insurance?
- do you have dependents that are covered under your employer group plan?
- will you employer group plan continue to cover you after you turn 65?
A lot of people are better served with Medicare, but its important to review your options with a professional to avoid unintended consequences.
Question: Can I use COBRA instead of Medicare?
Answer: COBRA does not qualify as creditable coverage for Medicare and you could be subject to penalties if you use COBRA beyond your Initial Enrollment Period.
Question: Do I have to enroll in Medicare?
Answer: If you are covered with creditable coverage with an employer group plan, Tri-care For Life, or a Federal Government Employee plan, you do not have to enroll in Medicare. It would be wise to consult with a professional to compare your coverage to Medicare. If you do not have creditable coverage, you could be subject to penalties for late enrollment into Medicare.
Question: When can I change my Medicare plan?
Answer: Medicare gives every Medicare beneficiary an Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) every year from October 7th to December 15. Use this time to meet with a professional to understand your options. Medicare also gives Medicare Advantage members an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) to make one change between January 1st and March 31st of every year.
Question: Do I have to enroll in Medicare if I have VA coverage?
Answer: Enrolling into Medicare part B is optional, but VA coverage is not considered credible for part B. There are plans that combine the powers of VA coverage with Medicare coverage to offer you great coverage and benefits.
Question: How do I enroll in Medicare Part B if I leave my employer group plan?
Answer: Medicare will accept a paper application for part B accompanied by an employer verification form to confirm coverage in a creditable plan, or you can apply online. Contact us for information about both options.
Question: How much does Medicare cost?
Answer: Medicare part A is usually available at a $0 premium. Part B has an income related premium (please call us for an explanation). Additional coverage for a part D (prescription drug plan), a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare Supplement plan can vary from a $0 premium to a premium of a couple hundred dollars.
Question: How can we meet with a broker from Optimal Aging?
Answer: We have multiple options to meet your needs and to respect your safety. We can meet over the phone, via Zoom, in our office in Arvada Colorado, or in your home or business. Please call us at 303-725-7009 or use our online scheduler below.
Question: What does Optimal Aging charge for consulting?
Answer: We do not charge for consulting. We hope to earn your business and receive our commissions from insurance companies.