Ask Nana – Your Medicare Expert – Amy Kelley
Q: What do I need to do if I am turning 65? You now might qualify for Medicare. Congrats! 90 days prior to turning 65, go to: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib and request your Medicare Part A & B card.
If you are working past 65 and ready to apply, first go to: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.pdf and print this form out and give it to your HR department and once they fill out there part then fill out yours. This form proves to Medicare that you have had Medicare equivalent coverage, otherwise you will have to pay a penalty. Once this form is filled out and you are ready to apply then go to: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib and request your Part A & B so you can upload form L564E at the same time. Start this process 2 month prior to your retirement date. Do not wait until the last minute because SS moves at a snail pace.
Q: What is the difference between Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security? Medicaid is both a federal and state program for low-income individuals to help offset the costs of medical care and prescription drugs. Medicare is insurance, and Social Security is income benefits. You become eligible for Medicare by working at least 10 years here in the US and paying Medicare (FICA) taxes.
You are eligible for Social Security by paying into Social Security taxes during your working years. You can elect to go on Medicare when you turn 65 and NOT elect to receive Social Security benefits until later. You can also elect to continue to work, but still elect to go on Medicare while you are working.
Q: I have SSI or SSDI. When will I qualify for Medicare? The major difference is that SSI (Social Security Income) determination is based on age/disability and limited income and resources, whereas SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) determination is based on disability and work credits. SSI recipients qualify for Medicare upon receipt of SSI. A person with SSDI will automatically qualify for Medicare after 24 months of receiving disability payments (SSDI).
Q: How easy is it to research drug plans? Just Ask Nana and I will gladly see which drug plan will have the least out of pocket for you. You can also search Medicare’s Drug Finder Tool at www.medicare.gov to find the plan that offers the lowest premiums and copays for your specific medications in your service area. Part D drug plans can be tricky to understand, with all the deductibles, copays, the donut hole, and restrictions. As your expert I can explain all of this to you. Eliminate hours of research by just calling 770-527-5598. My service is always free.