We spend a lot of time trying to drill into people’s brains that you are only “eligible” for Medicare at age 65, not that you have to enroll it, not that you should enroll into it, nor not that you SHOULDN’T enroll into it….. What should you do when you are faced with enrolling or not enrolling into Medicare? Get some solid advice.
Last night at our community ed class, Sally attended. She is 72 and still working. She said that she’s getting tired and would like to start reducing her hours so she was here to learn about Medicare since her healthcare was tied to her group insurance at work.
All normal. All fine. What wasn’t fine is that when I was asking about her Part B (as in “Are you SURE you don’t have Part B?” – because so many will tell us they don’t have it, pull out their card and say “oh, guess I have it”). She said that she went into the Social Security office to apply for Part A 7 years ago and the woman there said that she didn’t Part B because she was working and on the group plan.
While true on the surface (she didn’t need to enroll in Part B), did the woman ask her how much she was paying for her group coverage and what the coverage was like? Of course not. Sally has been paying $450 a month for group coverage with high deductibles that are high enough that she has been putting off medical treatments as she can’t afford the co-pays and such.
Medicare SEVEN years ago would have been a more affordable healthcare option for her. She’s going back to Social Security to file for Part B and finally get her coverage enacted. Sally had dumb advice + no advice. Everyday in Medicare-Land.