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Maximizing Your Medicare Benefits: What to Do When You Turn 65


As you approach 65, the age at which you become eligible for Medicare, it is important to understand your options and make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. At age 65, Medicare becomes your primary form of insurance by law, once you retire from employment. Below are five key steps to take as you become eligible for Medicare.

Determine your eligibility

The first step is to determine if you are eligible for Medicare and what specific benefits you qualify for. Eligibility is generally based on age and/or disability, and you can check your eligibility by contacting the Social Security Administration.

Choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Medicare has two main components: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and Medicare Advantage (Part C). Original Medicare is fee-for-service and covers hospital stays, doctor visits, and other medical services, while Medicare Advantage combines all parts of Medicare into a single plan, often with additional benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs. Consider your healthcare needs and budget when choosing between the two.

Decide on a prescription drug plan

Original Medicare does not cover most prescription drugs, but you can enroll in a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. You can compare plans and enroll through our Medicareful plan finder. You will be able to compare plans from multiple nationally recognized insurance providers via the platform.

Consider enrolling in a supplemental insurance plan 

Although Original Medicare covers many healthcare expenses, there are still out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. Consider enrolling in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance plan to help cover these costs. These Medigap plans help to cover some, most, or all of your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

Review and make changes during the annual election period

Medicare’s annual election period is open enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries that occurs annually from October 15th to December 7th and is the time when you can make changes to your coverage for the following year. Review your coverage options and make changes if necessary to ensure you have the coverage you need. 

By taking these five steps, you can maximize your Medicare benefits and make informed decisions about your healthcare coverage. At Alfa Pride Financial, we are Medicare specialists who can provide you with assistance as you navigate this important time.

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