Turning 65 this year? Well, we’re here to make sure that life keeps getting better with age. These 6 steps can help to ensure that you’re on track to take easy street through the next steps of your life:
You might be under the impression that medical screenings are for diagnosing issues once symptoms present themselves.
This is absolutely not the case. Individuals who schedule routine physicals and screenings can get an early diagnosis if they are developing a medical condition – increasing the likelihood of success for medical intervention and thus life expectancy.
Regularly scheduling tests creates a basis for physicians to compare results as time passes, which helps them get a more well-rounded perspective of your individual needs.
Talk to your doctor to determine which regular screenings you should take based upon your age, family medical history, and more. While you’re at it, also talk to your doctor about what Medicare plans they accept. This will be important to know when you select a Medicare plan when you turn 65.
As you age, your medical coverage needs will change. For example, if you have risk factors for certain diseases, you might want to consider the need to treat those if they do, in fact, develop later in life.
Being proactive starts by having the right conversations with your doctor to determine how to best plan for your future health so that you're covered – regardless of what life throws your way.
One important factor to take into account when considering your long-term health is having the right healthcare coverage. Choosing a plan simply based on their current health needs is one mistake many newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries make. Talking with your doctor as well as a Medicare advisor can help you prepare for the future.
While financial planning may feel overwhelming, it's important to have a handle on your finances in this stage of life.
Start by making sure you have a budget to grasp the full range of expenses you will have each month.
Financial planners suggest that you need to replace 80% of your income once you retire. Likely, your Social Security benefits will not meet that benchmark. Social Security provides a standard of living comparable to the bottom quarter of earners in the United States. If your standard of living requires an income higher than $30,000 a year, you need to consider how you will supplement your benefits.
Additionally, turning 65 also means you become eligible for Medicare, which impacts your finances in more ways than you may realize. For example, there are different Medicare plan options, including plans with $0 premiums but high out of pocket costs or vice versa.
Choosing a plan that fits your budget needs in this stage of life is important. You may be eligible for Medicare costs savings programs or a Medicare Supplement plan that helps cover your out of pocket expenses, like copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.
If you’re concerned about how Medicare will impact your finances, consider meeting with a Medicare advisor.
Beyond basic expenses, it’s also important to understand your taxes in this stage of life.
For example, where you live can impact what taxes you pay in retirement. Some states offer better tax implications for seniors, such as Florida and New Hampshire – if you’re considering moving when you retire check out the best states for seniors to retire in.
Furthermore, your taxes can impact your Medicare costs. If your adjusted gross income (AGI) reported on your taxes is above a certain level, you may incur a surcharge on your Medicare Part B and Part D plan premiums. This surcharge, referred to as IRMAA, can significantly impact your health coverage costs.
The surprising part?
IRMAA is based on your taxes from 2 years prior! For this reason, it’s important to understand how IRMAA works and what you might be able to do to avoid the costly surcharge.
Ultimately, it’s crucial that you have a full picture of your finances as you enter this new stage of life.
It is essential to enroll in Medicare benefits as soon as you become eligible during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
The IEP is the seven-month window around your 65th birthday (three months before and the three months after). If you miss your window, you could face gaps in health insurance coverage, incur late enrollment penalties, and have to wait for another enrollment period such as the Annual Enrollment Period.
If you have entered your Medicare eligibility window, schedule an appointment with a Medicare Advisor in your community who can help you in this transition.
Not eligible yet, but turning 65 in the near future? Explore more of our Medicare Resources. We cover everything from Medicare Advantage to Part D Prescription Drug plans and more! Being familiar with the ins and outs of Medicare will help you make the best decision when you do become eligible.
Turning 65 is a big milestone – one that nearly 20% of Montana residents have celebrated. Yet, turning 65 is not all about surprise parties and dinner celebrations. Rather, it can feel overwhelming. With each milestone you face in life, you likely have questions about what's next. If you have questions about turning 65, you're not alone. We've taken the time to answer some of the most common questions that 65 brings.
Although many people believe that the answer is 65, the social security retirement age (at which individuals become eligible to claim all of their Social Security benefits) has increased from 65 to 66. That age is scheduled to continue to rise to age 67 over the next few years.
This increase in age is a result of the rise in life expectancy – the idea is that if people are living longer, there is evidence to back the increase in the retirement age. Regardless of the retirement age requirements, be sure to keep in mind that you still become eligible for Medicare benefits three months before your 65th birthday.
Individuals that receive Social Security are automatically signed up for Medicare Parts A and B at age 65.
Medicare A is for hospital insurance and covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and home health care. Medicare B is for general medical insurance and covers certain doctor's services, outpatient care, and preventative services. There is a premium for Part B, but this can be deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check.
To access the benefits, individuals turning 65 need to be aware that Social Security will be sending detailed instructions at the beginning of the initial enrollment period – approximately three months before their 65th birthday.
On the other hand, if you are not already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, then you won’t automatically be enrolled. And you won’t receive any information from Social Security regarding your eligibility.
If you fall into the latter category, you’ll be solely responsible for enrolling in Medicare.
No matter which category you fall into, it is important to meet with a Medicare advisor to ensure that you not only get enrolled in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, but that you also enroll in the right plan – you’d be surprised how many options are available to you!
You should sign up for Medicare at age 65, and it is essential to enroll in Medicare benefits during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
The IEP is the seven-month window around your 65th birthday (three months before and the three months after).
If you miss your window, you could face gaps in health insurance coverage, incur late enrollment penalties, and have to wait for another enrollment period such as the Annual Enrollment Period.
You can, but if you plan to do so, be vigilant about enrollment deadlines because Social Security will not automatically sign you up for Medicare benefits.
Although Social Security and Medicare are not the same programs, the Social Security Administration is the party that completes enrollment for Original Medicare (Plans A and B). Therefore, if you choose not to receive Social Security benefits but still want Medicare benefits, you'll need to enroll yourself.
Instead of relying on automatic enrollment, you'll complete the process either online, through calling the Social Security office, or by contacting a Medicare professional.
You can use the Social Security Administration's online application to sign up for Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare is generally available for any individual approaching or at the age of 65. And in some cases, people under the age of 65 might qualify because of specific disabilities. You can check your eligibility using our Medicare Eligibility Check.
Your company size will determine how you approach Medicare if you're still working and have employer coverage.
If you find that you have group health coverage, you might be able to delay Parts A and B and avoid the lifetime late enrollment penalty for enrolling later.
The Medicare.gov website offers details on which expenses Medicare will cover when you are traveling.
However, it is essential to note that in most cases, Medicare does not cover health care that is accessed outside the United States. The administration defines outside the U.S. as "…anywhere other than the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands."
Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, have their own coverage details, and some may cover your healthcare expenses when you travel.
It’s important to access how often you plan to travel in this stage of life and factor that in when choosing your Medicare plan.
Additionally, the state of Montana has helpful resources for seniors. Take some time to review the resources they have available – even if you won't need them anytime soon, it's beneficial to familiarize yourself with them.
Happy Birthday! Turning 65 is a big milestone around here. Anyone turning 65 in 2021 (or with January 2022 birthdays) will become eligible for Medicare benefits by October of this year.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information out there about Medicare and choosing the right plan. There are multiple parts and certain requirements you have to adhere to—not to mention the onslaught of mail you’ll be getting this year! To help you keep everything straight, here are a 5 simple reminders for anyone turning 65 in 2021.
Anyone within 3 months of turning 65 is eligible to enroll in Medicare, but depending on your circumstance, you will either be enrolled automatically in Medicare or you will have to sign up on your own.
If you already receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), or will receive benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
The Social Security Administration or RRB will send you information regarding your Medicare coverage in the mail.
If you don’t currently receive benefits from Social Security or the RRB, however, you will have to sign up on your own.
Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Medicare is the seven-month window around your 65th birthday — the month of your birthday, the three months before, and the three months after.
If you miss your window, you could face gaps in health insurance coverage and late enrollment penalties. Missing your IEP window also means you have to wait for another enrollment period such as the Annual Enrollment Period, which begins in October, or the General Enrollment Period, which begins in January.
Of course, there are special circumstances that make you eligible for a Special Election Period (SEP). Losing employer coverage or moving could both make you eligible for an SEP.
You are technically not required to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65, but in most cases you will incur a penalty surcharge on your monthly premium that you will have to pay as long as you have Part B.
If you still have employer coverage when you turn 65, then the requirements are different. It’s important to talk to a Medicare specialist about your particular circumstance to ensure you don’t incur any unnecessary costs.
Medicare can be confusing to first-time enrollees, as there are several different options offered. Not every plan, however, is right for every person. You have unique needs and the key is finding the best plan to fit those needs. Your Medicare options include these four parts:
Medicare Part A. This is part of Original Medicare that is for Hospital Insurance. This covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care.
Medicare Part B. This is part of Original Medicare that is for Medical Insurance. This covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, and preventative services.
Medicare Part C. Part C, or Medicare Advantage, offers bundled plans that combine parts A, B, and even D for maximum coverage.
Medicare Part D. Part D is the prescription drug benefit component of Medicare. It must be added on to Original Medicare (Part A or B) or it can be included as part of a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare can be confusing, overwhelming, and difficult to understand for anyone. If you are not sure where to go from here or what plan is best for you, talking to a Medicare expert can help get you going in the right direction.
If you’re entering your Medicare eligibility window, schedule an appointment with a Medicare Advisor in your community who can help you in this transition.
Not eligible yet but will be in the near future? Explore more of our Medicare Resources. We cover everything from Medicare Advantage to Part D Prescription Drug plans and more!