Medicare information to help you navigate this important milestone
There's a lot to think about as you approach your 65th birthday, and your health plan should be at the top of that list.
As you get ready to turn 65, you may be wondering:
- How does Medicare work?
- How do I sign up for Medicare?
- When should I enroll?
- What do I do if I plan on working past 65?
We've put together a series of resources to help answer those questions, teach you about Medicare and help you make the best choice for your needs.
Request a copy of our free "Getting Started With Medicare" kit
It will teach you important deadlines, how to "speak Medicare," the various plan options and more.
Register for a free Turning 65 workshop with HAP Medicare experts
Let our experts teach you how Medicare works and give you tips and ideas to make sure you’re ready to go on day one.
Sign up for our Turning 65 emails
Periodically, we'll send you Medicare-specific information to help you on your journey.
Talk with a HAP Medicare expert
These specialists are standing by to help you transition into Medicare, answer any questions you may have and find the plan that's right for you.
What if I want to work past 65?
Many people choose to continue working after they've reached this milestone. The choice is yours. If you do choose to work, you can evaluate your Medicare needs based on the size of your employer.
21 or more employees
Like the coverage you have? You can stay on your employer's health plan until you retire. When you retire, you'll likely be eligible for a special enrollment period. You can also add Medicare coverage on top of your employer's plan or choose to switch to Medicare entirely.
20 or less employees
Most often, Medicare will save you money when compared to the plans offered by your employer. It's probably best to make the switch.
You should sign up when you turn 65, even if you plan to continue working.
The Medicare timeline at a glance
Whether you're already signed up for Medicare or are planning to work past your 65th birthday, you can start getting ready to enroll for Medicare once you turn 64. Here's what you can do at each stage.
Age 64: Get informed
Start learning how Medicare works and research your options. If you plan to work past 65, ask your employer about their health plans for people 65 and older.
Age 64 and 9 months: Time to enroll
You can enroll in Medicare as soon as three months before your 65th birthday. Learn how to enroll.
Age 65: You are Medicare-eligible
If you haven't enrolled yet, it's time. If you have enrolled, you'll start receiving Medicare benefits.
Certain people with disabilities or specific medical conditions may qualify for Medicare before turning 65. Get more details at medicare.gov.
Age 65 and three months: you must be enrolled
Unless you have health benefits through an employer with more than 20 employees, you generally need to enroll in Medicare Part B within three months after you turn 65 to avoid paying a late-enrollment penalty.
Age 65-plus: Change plans if necessary
If you’re enrolled in a plan that isn’t meeting your needs, you can switch to another plan during the annual election period, which is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.
Understanding the basics of Medicare
There are different parts of Medicare to understand as part of your coverage:
Original Medicare: Part A and Part B
When you first enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B through the federal government, you’re in the Original Medicare program.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient care in:
• Skilled nursing facilities
• Hospice care
• Home health care
Most people who have been employed and paid Medicare taxes may not need to pay a Part A premium.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B helps cover:
• Doctor visits
• Preventive care
• Other medical services
Part B is optional and requires a monthly premium.
Medicare Advantage: Part C
Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is offered through private companies and provides all the coverage in Medicare Part A and Part B but usually with additional benefits. It may even include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
- HAP Senior Plus® Henry Ford Tiered Access (HMO)
- HAP Senior Plus® (HMO)
- HAP Senior Plus® Medical Only (HMO)
- HAP Senior Plus® (HMO-POS)
- HAP Senior Plus® (PPO)
Medicare prescription drug plans: Part D
Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription drugs. These plans can help lower your prescription drug costs and protect against higher costs in the future.
Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans
This kind of plan helps pay for some costs not covered by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
Benefits of a HAP Medicare supplement plan:
- Competitive monthly premiums
- Freedom to choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare
- No referrals needed to see a specialist
- $0 copays on Medicare-approved preventive services
HAP offers through Alliance Medicare Supplement plans A, C, F, G and N.
You need to have Medicare Part A and Part B before you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare supplement plan, also known as a Medigap plan.