Most people sign up for Medicare to begin the first day of their 65th birthday month. You can get Medicare before your 65th birthday if you are disabled or have permanent kidney failure. If you still work and have a group employee health plan, you can defer signing up for Medicare until you retire. You will not be charged for your Part B premium as long as your group plan is trustworthy (or good coverage or better than Medicare). When you retire, you have eight months to sign up for Part B starting in the month after your group health plan ends or your work ends. If you still work but still plan to go to Medicare, there is another issue you should consider. Part B and Part D (Medication Plan) premiums may be charged additionally based on income. If you have a high income, these additional fees may apply. Since most people’s income declines when they retire, you may want to wait until then to go into Medicare.
Once you decide to go to Medicare, you can register online or go to your local SS office if you want to talk to someone in person. You will enroll in Part A (Hospital Services) and Part B (Physician Services). Once you enroll in Medicare, you can choose a plan that private insurance companies provide to help fill gaps in Medicare. These are supplemental or perks plans. If you want to cover prescription drugs, this would be a Part D plan, which is also offered by private insurance companies. An experienced mediator can explain the differences between these plans and how they work with Medicare.