So, you are approaching 65 years old and are thinking about enrolling in Medicare Nevada. Just in case you are trying not to think about turning 65, you will be reminded that you are by the volumes of junk mail and phone calls you get.
Having just gone through all of this myself, I thought I’d lay out a few pointers about enrolling in Medicare Nevada. Some basics are:
- Original Medicare is comprised of two parts. Part A is hospital services and Part B is medical services. Together they make up medical insurance coverage very similar to what people are familiar with, including deductibles and co-insurance.
- Most people who are enrolling in Medicare Nevada do so under their own eligibility, meaning they have personally paid taxes into the system long enough that they qualify for Medicare. Once qualified, Part A comes with no premium or cost, but part B has a $134 premium per month (in 2017) for most new enrollees.
This information does not apply to everyone, but it does apply to the overwhelming number of people I advise.
Starting the process of enrolling in Medicare Nevada
If you are already collecting Social Security Retirement (which can begin at age 62) you will be automatically enrolled and should receive your Medicare card in the mail three to four months prior to your 65th birthday. But if you don’t want to begin enrolling in Medicare Nevada yet, you have to opt out of coverage.
If you are not collecting Social Security Retirement yet, you have to actively enroll, but you can’t do this any sooner than three months (to the day) prior to your 65th birthday. You can enroll by calling Social Security on the phone (a 30-60 minute hold time typically), by going to your local Social Security Office (a three-hour wait in Reno typically) or by doing it yourself online at www.SocialSecurity.gov. I chose online as waiting is not my favorite thing.
If you choose online, I suggest you set up a “My Social Security” account with them. Lots of valuable information is available there including how much monthly Social Security income you can expect to get at various ages if you are not already collecting it. You can even set up your account to require an access code to log in. The access code will be sent to your cell phone by text.
Once you’ve enrolled you will get a letter/email in about 10 days confirming your enrollment and your Medicare card will follow in about another 10 days.
Medicare ID Card
Besides showing your name and gender, your red, white & blue Medicare card will show the date your Medicare Parts A & B are effective, usually the first of the month in which you turn 65. (If you were born on the 1st day of the month your effective date should be the first of the month prior to your birthday month.) Your card will also have your Medicare Claim Number on it, and yes, unfortunately, they use your Social Security number… with a suffix on the end, usually an ‘A’ or a ‘T’. The ‘A’ means you are already collecting Social Security Retirement, the ‘T’ means you aren’t. There are lots of other suffixes, but I rarely see them.
I did hear an announcement today from a reliable source that in April of 2018 Medicare will be mailing out replacement cards because they are finally going to stop using social security numbers as ID numbers.
By the way, the Medicare card isn’t actually a card; it’s a piece of paper. It was kind of disappointing to get a piece of paper after paying into the system since I was 16. So, I laminated mine, even though Social Security advises against it. The UPS store did that for me for $.75.
Okay, so now you have your Medicare card. Congratulations! For many people, it is the light at the end of the health insurance tunnel.
Filling the Gaps in Medicare
Now you have to find your way to the best plans there are for you to supplement your Medicare coverage. Such plans can pay for deductibles, co-insurances, and copayments that Medicare does not pay for. How do you do that? Call me or stop by the office. I’ve been specializing in them for 15 years and have lots of information to share with you.