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Medicare 101: Everything You Need to Know

Between now and 2030, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 each day. If you are among this distinguished group of individuals like I am (I do have five years to go for 65), then you need to start thinking about your health insurance in your retirement years. So, you will need to understand how Medicare works.

Although you become eligible for Medicare as soon as you turn 65, Medicare enrollment begins three months before your 65th birthday and continues for seven months after your turn 65. Since delaying enrollment can result in penalties, it is important to understand the different options and enroll right away.

If you are currently receiving Social Security Benefits then you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B the month you turn 65. If you do not receive Social Security benefits, you must take the appropriate steps to enroll.

The first step is to understand your options. There are four major programs within Medicare:

Part A – covers hospital stays;

Part B – covers physician fees,

Part C – allows Medicare beneficiaries to receive their medical care from among a number of delivery options; and

Part D – covers prescription medications.

There are also supplemental Medicare insurance policies (known as Medigap policies) that offer additional coverage to individuals enrolled in Parts A and B.

There are many options available and enough information to make your head spin. But it is important to sift through the information and choose what is right for you.

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