- Sign up for it on time. You can first sign up for Medicare beginning three months before the month you turn 65. For those of you whose birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage can start as early as the first day of the month prior to your birthday.
- If you don't sign up for Medicare Part B during this initial enrollment period, your premiums may increase by 10 percent for each 12-month period that you delay enrollment.
- If you are still working and covered by a group health insurance plan, sign up within eight months of leaving the insurance plan to avoid the penalty.
- Then, schedule your free physical. Beginning this year, Medicare !provides a one-time free physical exam within the first 12 months you have Part B coverage. This can include a review of your health, vision and blood pressure screenings, and counseling about preventive care services covered by Medicare. Other preventive services you may be able to get at no out-of-pocket cost include cardiovascular and breast cancer screenings, bone mass measurements, and flu shots. Important note: always ask if your physician accepts Medicare before making your appointment – unfortunately an ever growing number of physicians have stopped taking new Medicare patients.
- While full Medicare eligibility begins once you turn 65, full Social Security benefits do not. Boomers who claim Social Security when they turn age 65 will get about 93% of their full monthly benefit, because, according to the new formula, full benefits don’t kick in until age 66.
- However, for each year you delay Social Security payouts, your monthly amount increases, up to age 70. That sounds good, but our advice… If you don’t need your SS check to live on, rather than letting Uncle Sam hold it with no interest accruing, take it anyway as soon as full benefits kick in, and invest it in a great interest-bearing mutual fund -some have returns as high as 12%, paying monthly or quarterly dividends.
You have been officially alerted…