Medicare Planning Timeline
When you turn age 64, it's time to start thinking about Medicare and
the health plan that is right for you. You’ll be happy to know that
St. Joseph Hoag Health accepts most major
Medicare health plans. And we offer Medicare Benefits and Understanding Medicare classes to
help guide you through the process. We’ve laid out some key times
to be aware of in order to help you prepare for Medicare enrollment.
4 to 6 months before turning 65
Confirm Eligibility: Contact Social Security at
800-772-1213 (toll free), or visit your local Social Security office to confirm your
eligibility for Medicare and to determine the earliest date when you can
request your Medicare card.
Upon turning age 65, you will need to determine if you’ll still be
employed and therefore continue getting your health insurance through
your employer, union or trust (Medicare Group Coverage) or if you’re not going to receive Medicare health plan benefits
through your employer, union or trust fund you will be applying for
Individual Medicare Coverage.
Group plan members: If you’ll be getting Medicare health benefits through your employer
or trust fund (or your spouse’s), ask your benefits administrator
to see if it might be best to postpone Part B enrollment until you or
your spouse retires. Your decision will depend on how your insurance works
with Medicare. Once your employment ends, you’ll have an eight-month
Special Medicare Enrollment Period to sign up for Part B.
Eligibility Example: If you were born in January, you should be eligible to sign up beginning
October 1st, and your effective date would be January 1st. Unless your
65th birthday falls on the 1st of the month, in which case, your Medicare
Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month.
3 months before turning 65
Medicare will mail you a Medicare card and general information before the
date you become eligible, if you haven’t received your Medicare
card and information 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, it’s
important that you call the Social Security Office at
800-772-1213 or visit:
Medicare Parts A & B
You should be prepared to apply for a Medicare Health Plan3 months before the month of your 65th birthday. To ensure you have access to the St.
Joseph Hoag Health network, be sure to select an
accepted Medicare Health Plan by our network. Your Medicare Health Plan will be effective the first day of the month
you are eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical
Insurance) — typically, the first day of the month you turn 65.
If you or your spouse have paid Medicare taxes while working, Part A will
not require a monthly premium for coverage. Part B is a voluntary program
that will require a monthly premium to be paid.
Medicare Parts C & D
You must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B to join a Medicare Advantage
Plan (Part C). You must have Part A or Part B in order to enroll in a
Medicare prescription drug coverage plan (Part D).
Join one of our Medicare education classes to learn more about the options
available to you and to ensure your access to the St. Joseph Hoag Health network.
At our Medicare Benefits/Open Enrollment meeting, we will review our health
plan partners' 2018 plan benefits. You will be able to compare their
health plan benefits side-by-side so that you can determine the best plan
for you in 2018. Meeting is free of charge. Family and friends welcome
See our upcoming class schedule >
* We strongly encourage you to join the Medicare Benefits class prior to
attending our Understanding Medicare class.
Sales representatives will be present with information and applications
at the St. Joseph Hoag Health Medicare Benefits meetings. For a complete
list, please contact
800-MEDICARE or visit
in your service area.
At St. Joseph Hoag Health, we understand how overwhelming Medicare can
be. We know you're flooded with information, which can make it difficult
to know what do to and when to do it. Our "Understanding Medicare"
education meetings will help you make an informed decision.
We will discuss Medicare Part A, B, C, and D, Medigap (supplement plans),
enrollment windows and timing. You'll have a chance to ask specific
questions based on your individual needs.
"Understanding Medicare" is the first of two Medicare meetings.
If you would like to compare all the health plans with which St. Joseph
Hoag Health contracts with, we invite you to also attend our "Medicare
See our upcoming class schedule >
Your 65th Birthday and 3 Months After
Enroll in a
Medicare Health Plan accepted by the St. Joseph Hoag Health network anytime within the month
of your 65th birthday and the 3 months after. (If you were born in January,
for example, you could have until the end of March to enroll.) We’re
here to help! Speak with one of our trusted Medicare agents about your
Medicare options or schedule a personal appointment by calling
Be aware of the Late Enrollment Penalty — If you don’t sign up for Medicare when you are first eligible,
you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have
Medicare coverage. There is no penalty for individuals who transition
from a Group Medicare Plan and signup for Part B as long as it is done
within eight months of retirement.