3 Important Things to Know About Medicare

3 important things to know about medicare

1. When to Enroll

When you're first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. Not everyone has to enroll however. In some cases, you will actually be automatically enrolled into Medicare.

Automatic Enrollment:
Receiving benefits already from Social Security
Receiving benefits from Rail Road Retirement Board
Receiving disability benefits from Social Security for at least 24 months
Have ALS for 24 months

Non-Automatic Enrollment:
Not currently receiving Social Security or Rail Road Retirement Board benefits
Live in Puerto Rico and want Part B
Diagnosed with ERSD End-Stage Renal Disease

Other Times You May Enroll:
Between January 1–March 31 each year
Special circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods)

2. How to Enroll

As mentioned above, most people are enrolled automatically into Medicare. In the event, you are not one of those individuals, you can apply on-line. This process only takes about 10 minutes, and can be done on the Social Security Website. There is a great publication titled “Apply On-line to Medicare in Less Than 10 Minutes” which walks you step by step. If you are not comfortable applying on-line, you may also visit your local Social Security Office.

3. Cost of Original Medicare

Understanding the cost of Medicare is very important. The cost of Original Medicare can be examined in two areas. The first area is premium. If you have worked and paid into Medicare via taxes, you will receive your Medicare Part A at no cost. If you haven’t worked and paid into Medicare, you may have to pay for Part A. Currently in 2016 the Part A cost for those who HAVE NOT paid into Medicare is $411 per month. Again, most do not pay this cost. As for Medicare Part B, most do pay a premium and this premium varies based on income. Below shows how much one would pay for Medicare Part B in 2016 based on income.

Part B Premium

The second area where a beneficiary sees cost is in the form of out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses includes things like deductibles and coinsurances. With Original Medicare, there is a hospital deductible of $1,288 for the first 1-60 days in the hospital. There is also a Medical deductible of $166 per year for things like doctor & specialist visits. Normally Medicare will cover around 80% of medical cost, once the Part B deductible is met, leaving the beneficiary with a 20% coinsurance. Below is a breakdown of typical cost with Original Medicare.

Medicare Cost at a glance

Because of the high potential out-of-pocket cost, most individual’s pick-up a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan. Keep in mind that Original Medicare doesn’t include prescription drug coverage or Part D, so that or equivalent is needed.


Have a question, about Original Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part D? Are you turning 65 soon? Simply in need of quotes? Contact Us Today. There is absolutely no obligation, and our services is completely FREE. We are happy to assist you over-the-phone, on-line, or in person. We strive to accommodate you and your needs, in the setting you are most comfortable with.

Katherine (South Carolina) - "One call to Palmetto United was all I needed to do; they took care of the rest. Mr. Wolfe knew about plans that I didn't even realize existed. I was very impressed with just how knowledgeable he was about the different products available."