Turning 65 soon means that you’re almost ready to take advantage of the benefits of Medicare! At Aspire Health, we know that figuring out where to start isn’t always easy. So, as an early birthday gift, we put together this quick guide to jumpstart your journey to a happy, healthy future with Medicare.
Step #1: Start reviewing your options before your 65th birthday
It’s a good idea to know what to expect from Medicare even before you’re eligible. At 64, you can:
- Review the Medicare timeline. According to Medicare.gov, your initial enrollment period (IEP) starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after you turn 65.
- Review the different parts of Medicare. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) provides hospital and medical insurance, but if you’d like additional benefits, you may also want to consider purchasing a Medicare supplemental insurance plan or enrolling in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan.
- Decide if you’ll keep working. If you plan on working past 65 and your company has 21 or more employees, you may be able to keep your employer’s health plan. However, it may still be worth exploring Medicare or Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, since they may offer opportunities to save money and get better overall care.
- Assess your health. If you have frequent hospital stays, doctor visits, or need help managing diabetes, an MA plan may provide support.
Step #2: Sign up with Social Security
While some people are automatically enrolled in Medicare, most need to take action to enroll. The easiest way to get started is to contact Social Security. Keep in mind that even if you’d like to enroll in a Medicare Supplement (MedSupp) plan or MA plan like Aspire, you’ll need to sign up for Original Medicare first.
- Apply online (at Social Security).
- Call 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.
- Contact your local Social Security office.
After enrolling in Original Medicare, if you want to sign up for a MedSupp plan or a MA plan, you’ll need to apply through the private company offering the coverage. You can get more information at Medicare.gov.
If you’re interested in getting started with Aspire Health, call one of our Health Plan Advisors at (855) 378-9680. (TTY users call 711.) We’d be happy to answer your questions.
Step #3: Learn how to get more coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan, like Aspire
MA plans are an alternative to Original Medicare and MedSupp plans. They must include all the Medicare benefits and can include Part D, prescription drug coverage. Typically, MA plans offer more benefits than Original Medicare like:
- Routine chiropractic, acupuncture, fitness membership, and transportation
- Maximum out-of-pocket protections
- Lower out of-pocket costs than Original Medicare, in most cases
- No denial of coverage, if eligible
- Premiums not affected by age or health status
- The same rights and protections available through Original Medicare (MA members are still Medicare beneficiaries)
Step #4: Find out if you qualify for additional help with costs
According to Medicare.gov, if you have limited income, you may qualify for assistance with costs, such as premiums or prescriptions. You can visit their website to find out if you’re eligible and apply for assistance.
For more information on getting started with Medicare, visit:
- The Aspire Health blog
- Free Medicare seminars with Aspire Health experts
- Medicare Rights Center
- Social Security Administration
We hope that this information can help you navigate Medicare smoothly! If you have any questions about how Aspire Health can work with you to reach your health goals, call (855) 570-1600 for Member Services or call (866) 798-1530 for Sales. TTY users can call 711.