The Most Important Questions to Ask During Medicare Signup
If you’re approaching retirement age in California, one of the most important decisions facing you is how and when to do your Medicare signup. The Covered California program gives you a wide range of options in Medicare plans and coverage – but that can mean a huge number of choices to sort through!
At Good Health Quotes, we specialize in helping people just like you find the perfect plans during the annual enrollment Medicare signup period. These are some of the most common questions we hear.
Four Common Questions People Have About Medicare Signup
1 – Is Medicare required?
No, there is no legal requirement that you sign up for Medicare – but for most retired individuals, it’s the most reliable and affordable option in health insurance. Signing up, even just for basic coverage, is a very good idea.
2 – When do I sign up for Medicare?
When you first sign up, you can do so any time three months before or after your 65th birthday.
Otherwise, the annual enrollment period happens between October and December, typically October 15 to December 7. This is when you’re supposed to sign up or change plans, and the process will be much easier if you do it within this timeframe.
It is still possible to sign up at other times, but there are typically extra fees and penalties, and you might not get the plan you want.
3 – What if I plan to keep working after I turn 65, and I have insurance through my employer?
If your workplace has fewer than 20 workers total, you will still be expected to sign up for Medicare.
If your employer has more than 20 employees, and you’re happy with the insurance you get through them, you can delay signing up for as long as you’re employed. However, when you do decide to retire, be mindful of the timeframe. Otherwise, you could end up without insurance until the next Medicare annual enrollment period.
4 – When is the best time to start my Medicare signup?
All other things being equal, if you’re approaching age 65 and plan to take advantage of your Medicare entitlements, you should start the process three months before you turn 65.
Also, if you’re already receiving Social Security benefits (or Railroad Retirement Board benefits) you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.