5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2012 1:00 PM by JerryD

    taking social security at 66 and medicare options at 65....

    jimslu52
      I have decided to wait to take my s.s. benefits at 66.   How does this impact my medicare options when I reach 65?   Do I have to pay out of pocket for medicare part B  at 65 since they can't deduct from my s.s. until 66?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
        • Re: taking social security at 66 and medicare options at 65....
          JerryD
          There are means to pay Medicare premiums directly without deducting them from your SS.
           
          Unless you are covered by an employer health plan, I believe that you must go on Medicare at 65. I believe that you need to also obtain a Part D or drug coverage if you do not have a qualified plan to provide this coverage. If you don't have a plan and don't provide a valid Part D plan then they will penalize you forever for each month that you do not have such a plan. 
            • Re: taking social security at 66 and medicare options at 65....
              jkom51
              Part D is VOLUNTARY. From the Social Security website:

              "Part D (prescription drug coverage) is voluntary and the costs are paid for by the monthly premiums of enrollees and Medicare.  Unlike Part B in which you are automatically enrolled and must opt out if you do not want it, with Part D you have to opt in by filling out a form and enrolling in an approved plan."

                • Re: taking social security at 66 and medicare options at 65....
                  romanj
                  jkom51 said...
                  Part D is VOLUNTARY. From the Social Security website:

                  \"Part D (prescription drug coverage) is voluntary and the costs are paid for by the monthly premiums of enrollees and Medicare.  Unlike Part B in which you are automatically enrolled and must opt out if you do not want it, with Part D you have to opt in by filling out a form and enrolling in an approved plan.\"

                  I was told that I had to sign up for part D for prescriptions, even if I was not on meds.  Apparently, there is some kind of fee /penalty that will be tacked on if you sign up for part D later in life when you are on meds.  I was told that this fee would be permanent and monthly.  Is this not so?  Doesn't sound voluntary
                    • Re: taking social security at 66 and medicare options at 65....
                      jkom51
                      Might depend upon what kind of health insurance plan you have; e.g., the specific MediGap policy. By itself, Part D is voluntary, but a MediGap plan can specify any terms it wants to, so as long as it follows the basic Medicare regulations.
                      • Re: taking social security at 66 and medicare options at 65....
                        JerryD
                        romanj said...
                        ...
                        I was told that I had to sign up for part D for prescriptions, even if I was not on meds.  Apparently, there is some kind of fee /penalty that will be tacked on if you sign up for part D later in life when you are on meds.  I was told that this fee would be permanent and monthly.  Is this not so?  Doesn\'t sound voluntary
                        It is important to determine if you have a qualified Part D plan whether with your employer insurance, Medicare MediGap or Advantage plan or just some approved Part D plan independent of your employer/Medicare coverage. The penalty is quite steep and indeed permanent should you delay getting into a qualified plan. I believe that the penalty is 1% per month based on some national average Part D plan cost.
                         
                        That said, I got into a Humana/WalMart plan when I thought that I didn't need meds that cost like $15/month.  It appears to be basically a generic drug plan. I got in the same plan the 2nd year and just weeks later had a medical situation that will push me into the donut hole or out-of-pocket coverage this year. Fortunately, you can change your Part D plan every year and there are tools that determine which plans cover your required meds the best. They aren't simple to use but they do exist and the one I use does calculate the monthly cost of required drugs and the donut hole consequences.
                         
                        I have a high school friend  who decided not to get a part D plan, now he needs meds and may need more as he ages. I and other friends can't seem to convince him that he has cheaper insurance alternatives and that the penalty has already added a permanent 25% increase to his drug costs and it just continues to increase. Even though the dreaded donut hole is expensive, should he ever need very expensive drugs, and many today are very, very expensive, his financial exposure is great due to his decision.