Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Countdown to 65

I'll be 65 on September 1st - Labor day, how appropriate - and I'll be celebrating with loved ones in sunny Pasadena, CA at a birthday BBQ hosted by the younger generation for us and our CA cousins. We leave on Friday morning and have rented a house for us and one son & DIL who don't live there. I'm excited and happy that I decided on this plan instead of booking travel by ourselves to some other part of the world. Since my Mom died I have really wanted to spend time with the family that we have now and this will be a good dose.

In the meantime, I got this in the mail.
It's official. Just Part A since I am still covered under Hubby's insurance from work. A new season of life.

12 comments:

  1. Just wanted to advise you not to put off picking a Part D. I retired last year and Medicare started for me on August 1st when my work insurance ran out. My doctor had given me a three month supply of medications so I just assumed that I could wait until open enrollment in October to pick a Medicare Advantage plan which included Part D since I didn't need meds at the time, and besides, the letter from Medicare said I was 'eligible' for one, not that I HAD 63 days to choose one. Now, because of a few days I have to pay a penalty each month for the rest of my life. It's only a dollar, but it's the principal of the matter. Just not fair.
    Mary

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    1. It can be tricky but until my husband retires I am covered by his insurance and then we sign up for Part B and perhaps D with no penalty. We have prescription insurance through his coverage now. Sorry this happened to you.

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  2. It's not just part D that has a penalty. There is a financial penalty for the rest of your life if you don't sign up for Medicare part B when you are first eligible. The government doesn't care if you have private insurance; they require you to sign up for the part B when you turn 65. The penalty is pretty steep; 10% for every 12 months you delay. So if you were to delay for 2 years, for example, your medicare premium would be 20% higher for life! Here is Social Security's web page explaining it.

    http://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/penalty/part-b-late-enrollment-penalty.html

    Happy birthday! Enjoy your time away!

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  3. An addendum to what I wrote above: It appears there are special circumstances where you can avoid the penalty.

    http://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-parts-a-and-b/special-conditions/special-conditions.html#collapse-3162

    Our private health insurance (part of my husband's retirement benefit) requires us to sign up for medicare. Perhaps your husband's plan does not require this. It's frustrating how complicated all of this gets! And I consider myself and my husband pretty savvy. I feel bad for those without the wherewithal to figure this out.

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    1. It is complicated isn't it. My husband is younger than I and a federal employee. We have checked this out and I am covered by the special conditions so there won't be any penalty. Once he retires we will be in the same situation as you are with Medicare required and the other insurance becomes secondary.

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  4. I look forward to hearing all about your Significant Birthday!

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    1. Thanks. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my family and having fun. We plan to move back to CA when my husband retires to be physically close to them so this is part of staying connected.

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  5. Congrats on 65! (and a nice trip). As you're beginning to see, Medicare is a great benefit, but like other govt. programs it is complicated, it can be tricky; and you can lose benefits if you don't do things just right.

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    1. Thanks. I know Medicare can be challenging. We are fortunate that the Federal gov't puts on a great retirement planning seminar that covers all of this. We already went once and will go again in the last year before Hubby's retirement to get the updates and details straight.

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  6. Hope that you have a wonderful birthday with your family. I'll be 67 the day after you turn 65! So I'll toast you on Monday with a glass of good Bordeaux wine and then you can toast me on Tuesday. I'm spending my birthday in France this year. We will be meeting friends who live in France in Bordeaux on Monday then we'll be spending my birthday in Toulouse. Flights to the UK are expensive in August and September because of people going on holiday, but I've booked to see my family in London at the beginning of October. All celebrations are more fun with family and friends, aren't they? Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Sue. I'll toast you in advance!

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