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Plan Ahead for Medicare

Jan 29, 2017 10:14PM ● By Colleen Callahan

Colleen Callahan

If you are planning to work beyond age 65 and remain on your employer health plan, it is very important that you plan ahead at retirement time. Remember, you must have both Parts A and B of Medicare in order to apply for a Medicare supplement. If your spouse is over 65 and has been a dependent on your employer plan, he or she must also have both Parts A and B.

Part A covers hospital services and Part B covers physician or medical services. For 2017, the standard rate for Part B is $134. That is a premium you pay your uncle in Washington, DC. It is also possible you could pay a higher premium. The cost is tied to earnings.

You can apply online for Medicare Part B. There is a video on the Social Security website.  If you need to go to a Social Security office, request an appointment and expect a wait. Once you have applied, it could take a couple weeks to receive your card.

Our client meetings vary; some people prefer an educational presentation before applying for Part B.  Some arrive in our office with the card in hand, ready to learn the basics, and apply for a supplement and a prescription drug plan. Our presentation takes about 45 minutes.  The applications are fairly short since no medical questions are required.  Once we submit the applications, we normally have approval in less than a week. The wallet cards arrive 7-10 days later.

It is very important to plan ahead.  If you will be turning 65 in the next six months or if you are over 65, working and planning to retire in the next six months, start planning now. It would be great to meet you in the next couple of months!

Colleen Callahan, CLU, CASL, LUTCF; 925-363-5433; [email protected].  Colleen Callahan Insurance Services is located in Pleasant Hill. Contact her 925.363.5433 or [email protected]