Social Security sign up / medical , script, etc.

So, the magic number to sign up is approaching...what are the pros & cons when working ?

How does medical / work ? SSI. , Medicare , supplemental coverage plan...

I currently have a ppo w/ b/c, bs, , dental coverage, etc..
How do I know what is best to sign up for ?

It is all a bit overwhelming......would greatly appreciate any and all feedback,
Thanks in Advance.

steven steven
Mar '19

I think you should always sign up for Medicare when eligible or else your premiums will be much higher when you do. You are effectively penalized for not signing up when eligible. You can still have other coverage and depending on the number of employees in your work plan (I think if it’s over 20), then your workplace insurance will be considered primary and then Medicare is secondary when submitting any bills. My spouse has Medicare and is covered by my workplace and that is how it works for us.


You can sign up for Medicare, A,B,D. The cost of A Is included with B premium. It is around 155.00 a month, D is prescription drug plan, they start at 24.40 a month and go up to over 100.00. Yes there is a penalty if you do not sign up when eligible, but if you have good coverage now and do not sign up you will have to prove you had it for that time period not to be penalized. It is a matter of cost, how much you use medical and how many scrips you take. So if you can afford min 200.00 a month taken out of your SS check you will have great insurance.If you hardly use your current insurance, you could save min 200.00 a month. You can call Medicare and ask questions they are very helpful. Please only use info on this post for reference. Call Medicare!

Bev Bighead Bev Bighead
Mar '19

Medicare --- check with your current carrier, they can probably advise how to use Medicare in conjunction with them. Usually one carrier (Medicare or your insurer) becomes your "primary" I think it's usually your insurer now, and they basically "eat" medicare so you only have a single point of contact and, hopefully, less transition pain.

SS - they have consultants, get a meeting. Chances are you will be better off just waiting to pull the SS trigger if just a few years. However, if you plan to work till you drop, the math may be different. You can also use on-line services, which I gather, you have already registered for? If married and both using SS, SS has a wrinkle in that you want to assure that, in the end highlander, the "one" left standing ends up with the higher SS value. The consultant can help you be sure you are set up for that too. But here's the thing. If working, you will lose some or all of your SS for that year. However, overall, you may make more with work/SS than just with work. If you just wait, obviously your SS will go up. Be aware --- for some reason SS really pushes the wait for more. Do the math to see if pulling at a reduced rate while working is more advantageous than waiting. As in, if you plan to drop dead while working, probably better to get reduced SS now because you will die before you get it at a higher rate later :>) Consultant can't do that math for you :>) It's a breakeven analysis which often tells you pull now, pull now.

I believe if you wait till the next period, it's about a ten year payback. So, if you go at 62, you get x, but if you go at 66 1/2 you get x+. While x+ looks like a huger number, in reality, you will be 76 before you actually recognize an extra buck over taking the money now, at 62, for 4 1/2 years before the 66 1/2 payment. My point is, really, do I need extra cash at 76 --- for what --- extra travel? extreme sports? No, I think I will be pretty set in my ways and means by then and extra cash will just go in a drawer.....

But, in both cases, try to call to get some support. Use the on-line SS website too; but you do have to register on the web site. And they make you change the password regularly --- be prepared for that too.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Mar '19

Im glad this subject came up. My husband is NOT on SS yet but he did sign up for Medicare .He got his Medicare card in mail for Part A and B. Coverage starts April 1 2019. Question is Will he get his very first bill for Medicare payment in the mail ?
And then he would decide how he wants to pay either out of his checking, charge card or paper bill as he is not on SS yet. I understand most people when they are on SS also have it automatically taken out. He is not on SS yet for another 2 years. So how will he get his first Medicare bill? by paper mail? Thank you

maybebaby
Mar '19

try to sign up asap.
My husband did when he was 62.
Walgreens is the store to use for RX for SSI, BTW.
We saved over 60 percent on prescriptions there vs. Walmart, no lie.


depends - I have optumrx - and mail order is almost free

4catmom 4catmom
Mar '19

If you receive SS your medicare payments are automatically deducted from your check; no approval needed by you; it just happens. They only send you what is left after deducting medicare.

Cercis Cercis
Mar '19

Cercis. No he DOES NOT not receive SS yet he wants to wait until he is 67 years old. That is why I am asking if anyone knows IF THE VERY FIRST Medicare premium bill( if you are only on Medicare) comes by mail. His Medicare goes into effect April 1 2019. I understand that if he received SS it would be deducted from his SS, But he DOES NOT receive SS yet. He wants to wait on collecting SS until he is 67 years old. So my question is Does anyone know if he receives his first Medicare bill in the mail. And then we can decide to pay online or can we just sent payment thru mail. Thank you for responding though.

maybebaby
Mar '19

I did a Google search. When you sign up for Medicare and are not receiving Social Security benefits yet, they will mail you a bill, called a Medicare Premium Bill (Form CMS-500). You have several options for: check, direct payment from a checking account, credit card, mail. I would think your bill will have instructions with it, and it will probably arrive a week or two before it's due. You can always call Medicare or go on-line for assistance.

Lonesome Dove Lonesome Dove
Mar '19

Lonesome Dove Thank You so very much. I just really needed someone else to tell .that what I thought that from everything I could find online without having to call Medicare and wait on the phone so long. I wasnt sure I would have to give my husbands information on phone and if they would talk to me without speaking to him directly. After he comes home from work at night holding on the phone is the last thing he wants to do. And yes my husband and I could go online into his account and see. Rather then waiting until the last minute I figured Hackettstown Forum always helps people. I did some reading online and also came to the conclusion that you gave me I just wanted someone else to reassure me. I also saw a copy of that form and made a copy of it. You and I looked on the same sight. Thank you so much for making me more confident with what I researched. Have a good night.

maybebaby
Mar '19

I work full time, so I only sign up or Medicare … I currently have PPO insurance and prescription coverage, so I am just not clear what I am "signing up for" as I do not plan on retiring for another few years..

steven steven
Mar '19

Medicare.gov might answer some of your questions.


LDJ,
The web site is a bit overwhelming, was hopeful someone on here would know ( from experience perhaps )
I believe I should just sign up for Medicare Part A at this point in time, but just not clear .

steven steven
Mar '19

I never signed up for medicare - had ins through my employer.... did not want to start to collect SS this soon - thought they both went together...now i see on this thread that i am going to be penalized...ugh...anyone know how much that might be?


Were from the Government. Were here to help.

dodgebaal dodgebaal
Mar '19

Steven, maybe check with insurer; usually you get moved to insurer package that looks the same to you but insurer “eats” medicare, is your single point of contact, and takes care of medicare billing. They certainly don’t want to insure you if you can get medicare.

Jrn- define penalty? They reduce your ss if you work. Ss website will give you formula.

And yes, these websites are confusing, its not you, so if it doesn’t make sense, look for additional sources.

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
Mar '19

Thanks for asking this question maybebaby, it's good to know how it will work when the day comes. I'm in an age group that can't get ss until age 67, but I think everyone can get medicare at 65? Good to know what happens in that 2 year gap.

hktownie hktownie
Mar '19

Everyone MUST apply for Medicare by age 65. If you don't you are penalized 10% of your premium but only for twice the number of years you are late. So if you applied at age 66 (one year late) you will be penalized 10% for 2 years. If you apply 2 years late, you will be penalized for 4 years.
A person might be qualified for a "Special Enrollment Period" if they had medical insurance from their employer and applied for Medicare late. They might not be penalized in that case.

happiest girl
Mar '19

And Medicare & SS don't go together. You must apply for Medicare at 65 but you can wait until 70 1/2 to apply for SS. You will get 132% benefit if you wait. (8% more each year you wait beyond full age retirement)

happiest girl
Mar '19

I have found people in those offices very helpful

4catmom 4catmom
Mar '19

People with group health policies through their employer generally do not have to sign up for Medicare when they turn 65. They, or you in this case, can keep your employer coverage until you retire. You will then have eight months within which to sign up for Medicare without facing any penalties for late enrollment.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/if-im-turning-65-and-still-working-do-i-have-to-file-for-medicare

Mr. Resident Mr. Resident
Mar '19

Yes, the support people are pretty good for this. Used to be for IRS too, but think that’s been downsized.

No, anyone can start SS at 62, full retirement between 65 to 70, probably many at 66 1/2 with sliding scale depending on birth.

They tell you think hard before pulling because you will make 70% / 80% more if you wait. Do the math. Know your life. If you die at 64, 65 1/2 bonus ain’t worth much. Plus is extra money better if you can’t enjoy it? As I said earlier, it’s close to a ten year payback when you wait. From 62 to 67 1/2 you get 5.5 years of reduced payments that when you get to 67 1/2, will take you almost ten years of increased payments to catch up to. Not to mention the enjoyment bought with money from age 62 to 67 1/2 that you might not enjoy in senility ;-). Everyone is different, but do the math.

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
Mar '19

is it better to go to the ss offices or do it over the phone


hcktownie, you are welcome. This whole registering when and how is all very confusing to sort out. 4catmom, The office is very helpful. If you can go to the SS and Medicare office (same office just two different things to sign up for) they are very helpful. I thank Lonesome Dove for reassuring me that what I understood online about the very first Medicare bill was how I understood it. I like to know how things are going to happen ahead of time with bills and such. He is okay with waiting to see. Ha Ha. Thank you also to Steven for starting this post.

maybebaby
Mar '19

JRN, I do not think you can sign up over the phone but you CAN make an appointment to go their office, on the phone. I tried to sign up for my SS only online but online sight said I needed to go to SS office. However, you CAN make an appointment to go to SS office on the phone. When I went there they were so helpful. There was a problem with my address, the glitch was fixed and then I could go home and sign up online. I only needed SS. I am no longer working and a little younger then my husband. My husband signed up only for Medicare online with no problem. He will be 65 very soon. My husband is still working full time and does not want SS until he is 67. I am very sure you have to sign up for Medicare a little before you turn 65

maybebaby
Mar '19

I think, not 100% sure, Medicare signup is 3 months before 65th with a 7 month window before penalties which are 10% of what I don’t know but spunds bad.

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
Mar '19

SD, yes, my understanding is: 3 months before you turn 65, you Must sign up for Medicare ..in my case, as I work full time, have PPO benefits with my employer, I only sign up for Medicare Part A at this time....I am pretty sure this is correct .
Anyone want to correct me if wrong ?

I am just not clear on what happens to my health coverage thru my employer ( which I pay a fair portion to thru payroll deductions )

steven steven
Mar '19

They coordinate benefits - it should save you and them some money

Skippy Skippy
Mar '19

Think skippy is right but your insurer should confirm

StrangerDanger StrangerDanger
Mar '19

Skippy, Meaning more monies I my check, or additional deductions to Medicare ?

steven steven
Mar '19

Update and question. My husband got his Medicare bill in mail. He signed up online for part A Hospital and Part B Medical. His medicare card for wallet says " Entitled to Hospital (PART A) Medical (PART B).
But the bill in the i\upper right hand corner says( PART B First Bill ) Then on coupon to send on the coupon to send in mail says Amount due for Part A and/or Part B 4-1 -2019 to 6-30-2019. Part A Hospital there is no dollar amount + Part B Medica lthe dollar amount is$ 406.50 + IRMAA Part D no amount =406.50. His card says part A and B but bill is only listed amount for Part B

maybebaby
Mar '19

Call them, good luck it is confusing.

kb2755 kb2755
Mar '19

That sounds about right. He doesn't pay for Part A. His three month bill for Part B is $135.50 a month x 3 (April, May, June). There may be a dollar or two charge for processing as most have it deducted from SS. He has no Part D, which is a prescription coverage.

Found this about IRMAA:
The income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) sliding scale is a set of statutory percentage-based tables used to adjust Medicare Part B and Part D prescription drug coverage premiums. The higher the beneficiary's range of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), the higher the IRMAA.

Mr. Resident Mr. Resident
Mar '19

Update I called the Medicare 1-800-633-4227 number on back of card. After waiting on hold a bit I got my husband on speaker phone(he is at work and sometimes very hard to get a hold of) to speak with her. If you pay into SS Medicare for a little over 10 years or 40 quarters in most cases Part A is free. But the woman had to go into my husbands account to verify. She said SS office can send me a letter stating that the Medicare Pat A is free (ha ha) for our records. She checked our account and that is why it is not on the bill. So problem solved. Oh boy this SS Medicare stuff can be so confusing.

maybebaby
Mar '19

Mr Resident. Thank you for your response. You seem to know your stuff. I did call with husband on his cell phone on speaker phone and woman checked husband's account and we don't have to pay for Part A. You guys on this forum are so so helpful. Thanks all. Oh boy it is confusing but we are getting there. Smilie

maybebaby
Mar '19

so if I understand this ( oh boy ) , as I have paid into for over 50+ years, medicare Part A will be at no cost ( when I retire ) ?

steven steven
Mar '19

Yes, Steven. You pay no premiums for Medicare Part A. But understand that Part A only covers In-patient hospital bills. I believe there are limits on the coverage also. Medicare will pay their part and you get billed for the balance.
Only the premiums for the coverage itself is free.

JBJSKJ JBJSKJ
Mar '19

Well, I am going through the Medicare solutions after going through the private insurance marketplace or lack thereof. Got zapped for retiring early and having company pull the insurance rug out from underneath me. It really hurts. In terms of Medicare, can't remember what I did but suddenly card turns up for next year and I understand all Medicare premiums, whatever, will come out of my Social Security. Cool; I can dig it.

But for Medicare Add-ons, specifically to Medicare Advantage or to Medigap (Supplemental)….. Who is using what? Got any advice, what to watch out for, recommendations?

I am looking at Supplemental (Medigap) plus Part D drug coverage (versus Medicare Advantage plan) because I want the out-of-state, out-of- country 80% coverage not available in most Medicare Advantage Plans. Looking at Plan G since it is the most comprehensive. Price is $156 premium. This price includes a 36% savings discount which increases by 3% a year. Can't tell you wtf that is about. Like who doesn't get the discount?

Think most take supplemental plans, however, Medicare Advantage is less expensive....for some reasons --- in network, no out of state, higher copays --- there is a reason. However, for the healthy who expect to stay that way ---- and don't get sick on vaca out of state --- it may be better. And you can always change, I believe, at next year's sign-up. There's also where do you file: I think with Medicare Advantage, you file with the insurer, with Medigap, it might be Medicare followed by the insurer. Hope not cuz that sounds messy. Anyone know how to file a Medigap claim and how that process works?

For most supplemental users, Plan F is the way to go for full coverage for those in poor to good health --- but not fantastic health. Now Plan F is replaced by Plan G, same thing but add a deductible for another $185 spent. Defaulted to AARP's plan, aka United Health, for plan G mostly because I am familiar with United Health and the price is in the ball park. Remember, I have private insurance, so all pricing is saving me over $1,000 a month.

Could not use AARP for drugs since they don't cover or cover very expensively for tier 2 or specialty drug which would force an alternative. Had to research all of my drugs PLUS alternatives for the two most often not covered. Only way I could get it to show prices for all drugs/alternatives at the same time. Ended up looking at Express Scripts (which I think fulfills UHealth's mail order drug plan anyway) plan. Price is $90 versus United Healthcare at $81 but only 66% of United Healthcare Plan D cost when you roll the drug copays in.

Anyone else using these companies? Anyone else using one company for Supplemental, and another for Part D?

Even though ObamaCare made some of this easier to research; man, what a pain to do. I still feel a little dusty on how all this works and what the best decision/plan is. Love to hear how others approached it.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
4 days ago

Plan F is still available this year. Also, Plan F has guaranteed coverage. No medical questions. Be sure to get Medicare D for prescriptions. Read up on it. Penalties if you waited too long to get coverage.
We took Medigap to begin with. With few exceptions, once you take an advantage policy you can’t go back to regular Medicare with medigap.
Best of luck. It can get complicated.


PS: Medicare government web site is very helpful. One of the best websites I have ever been on.


what link/ address did you use please ?


www.medicare.gov

Official government website.


Plan F is this year but 2020 new sign-ups have no F and must use G to replace. Same plan excep G does not cover one deductible which will run you about $185 if used. Call it inflation...

For me, with OK health, some conditions requiring meds, travel, that made Medigap the choice over Medicare Advantage and Plan G (or F) the most comprehensive. And since I am coming from private insurance, or employer plan, the price is so much lower than I can worry about cutting back in later years.

The website is handy and helps a lot. The state or county also has consultants you can meet with. Called SHPS I think. While I pretty much knew the answer, it was nice to discuss with someone not pulling a commission. The medicare.gov site has the telno under contacts.

For part D on the website, you can load your drugs and it will compute the prices from each plart D plan provider. If you take a number of meds, and if one or more are branded/tier 2/specialty, be prepared. The prices can vary a lot, some may not even be covered. If so, I found loading alternatives in my list showed me prices for all my drugs plus alternatives and I could just subtract the ones I wouldn’t use. Let me run one list for all providers rather than making different lists for each one at a time based on trial and error with the providers unique coverage or lack thereof. Just rember that IF you see some abnormally high prices come back.

In the end Express Scripts was the only one to cover all, so I will have AARP/United Healthcare for Plan G and Express Scripts for Part D. FYI -,AARP is listed on Medicare.gov but you need to go to their website for details. Must not be fully linked to Medicare.gov yet.

Strangerdanger Strangerdanger
3 days ago

Did you price Mutual of Omaha Plan G versus AARP/United Healthcare? I will be paying $103.61 beginning in February on M of Omaha.


KB: no, but I have other "issues..."

First, since I retired early, my younger wife, as she likes to remind, to follow next year, we both got unceremoniously tossed from our corporate insurance after a couple decades of service and use. That was United Healthcare.

I then, after a much worse adventure in private insurance, went will Horizon BC/BS which I will have for 4 months before Medicare kicks in, 18 months later my wife, the kid. I feel for anyone trying to buy private, individual, insurance in this state AND that's after all the simplicity ObamaCare put in.

Yet in 2021 we will return, under retiree plan, to the corporate United Healthcare adder to Medicare --- hopefully some variation of Plan G at a lower price. Since Express Scripts handles United Healtcare drug fulfillment, figure I am going with the devil that I know.

So it looked like either Horizon or United Healthcare had the familiarity advantage and since we probably are heading back to UH in 2021 ---- until that gets dropped ---- that was much of my thinking. Plus, coming from the private insurance world, I will be saving over 1K a month ---- I can fine tune cost cutting next year and still feel rich. And now you know the rest of the story.....

OK -- back to the last post: Medicare.gov has a "helpful contacts" page. This is good for just about anything medical and more. LIke 7 pages of 53 New Jersey contacts including Federal Black Lung Program and my favorite, End-Stage Renal Disease Network where you can file dialysis complaints. I joke, but there's a lot of help here. Please folks, take a look, unless in perfect health. State Health Insurance Assistance or SHIP is there for health insurance (Medicare) counseling and while the 800 number is listed, the local number for Warren County (yes, they be us you will be talking to), is 908-475-6591. They will consult on the phone, meet with you, and they work for us, as in public servants, not for the providers.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
3 days ago

Question. I am covered under hubby's plan through his work. Do I have to pay for Medicare if I don't need it? I don't want to deal with that headache until absolutely necessary.

auntiel auntiel
3 days ago

Auntie: haven't looked in-depth, but this might be a tricky area, be careful. Here's a primer, it's Motley so trustworthy, so trust but VERIFY. It was easy: just googled "do I need to sign up for medicare at 65 if covered by my spouse." There's even a 20-person rule for where your hubby works, lots of rules.....

https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/07/16/do-i-need-to-sign-up-for-medicare-at-65-if-i-have.aspx

strangerdanger strangerdanger
3 days ago

For folks needing meds from a pharmacy, here's a handy price finder. Generally, Shoprite or Walmart will win, but others like PV, hang right in there. Probably are other aps, but this one is easy. Has a discount card, not sure how that works. And non-profit, not looking for your money, except to survive.....

https://www.needymeds.org/drug-pricing

OK, let's play the prescription-got-me-screwed-but-I'm-not-smiling-game. I got one at the lowest price of $7,700 a month. Can anyone beat that little beauty?

strangerdanger strangerdanger
3 days ago

Back to the Top | View all Forum Topics

Leave a Reply

To comment on this topic, fill out the form below. If you would like to comment directly to one person, you may click on the envelope next to the posters name if they provided their email.

Re: Social Security sign up / medical , script, etc.
Name (Required)
Email (Protected)
Add Photo (Optional)
By pressing Submit Comment, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.