Medicare has been around for 55 years, providing health insurance to Americans 65 and older as well as those with disabilities. The process of qualifying for the program is not automatic. Read more to find out whether you are eligible.
People 65 or older
- If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident for at least five years and
- You are receiving Social Security or railroad retirement benefits or have worked long enough to be eligible but have not yet collected
- You or your spouse is a government employee/retiree who has not paid into Social Security but paid Medicare payroll taxes while employed
People 64 and younger
- If you have been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months (inconsecutive is okay) or
- You receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board and meet specific rules or
- You have Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), which qualifies you immediately or
- You have permanent kidney failure (regular dialysis or a kidney transplant), and you or your spouse has paid Social Security taxes for a period determined by your age
If you are a legal U.S. citizen or have been a resident for at least five years, you can receive full Medicare benefits at age 65 or older. You have to buy into them by:
- Paying premiums for Part A: hospital insurance. The amount you have to pay depends on how long you have worked; the more work, the higher your credit amount. The credits are based on your income and the amount of time it takes to earn a credit change every year. In 2020, one work credit was earned for every $1,410 in earnings, a maximum of four credits per year. The maximum premium is paid ($458 in 2020) if you accrued less than 30 work credits. If you have 30 to 39 credits, you pay less. If you gain 40 credits and continue working, you will no longer pay these premiums.
- Paying consistent monthly premiums as other Part B enrollees: doctor visits and other outpatient services. In 2020, the amount totals $144.60 for those with an income of $87,000 or less. Those filing a joint tax return with $174,000 in revenue or less also have the same total amount. Rates increase for those with higher incomes.
- Paying the same monthly premium for Part D: prescription drug coverage.
To enroll in Part B, you do not have to register in Part A. If you buy Part A, you must also enroll in Part B. Part D can be purchased if you are enrolled in either Part A or B. You cannot enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or buy a Medigap supplemental insurance policy unless you are enrolled in both Parts A and B.
For more information, head to the Eligibility & Premium Calculator at Medicare.gov. To enroll in Medicare or learn about your options, contact the experts at Omega Benefit Strategies today.
Omega Benefit Strategies provides senior credit union members an educational resource for Medicare. Our turnkey marketing package seamlessly integrates with existing market strategies. We can help businesses increase new member acquisitions, bolster retention, cross-sell opportunities via our “scorecard” system, and even earn an ancillary revenue stream. Accommodating any size membership, we maintain exemplary member service and offer top-notch products. Contact us today by going to www.omegabenefit.org or call 888-404-5049.
Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.