Simplfied Medicare Sign-up

At first the decisions related to initially signing up for Medicare seem complex. For most people the decisions are actually simple. I suggest that at least one month before you turn 65 that you sign up for Medicare. I did the following, I recommend you do the same, unless you have atypical requirements.

Buy Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D

  • Sign up for parts A & B. Part A has no cost. The cost of Part B is only $104.90 in 2015. This gives you the basic coverage.
  • Sign up for Option F for part C (supplemental coverage) and for Part D (drug coverage). Supplemental coverage takes care of deductibles and a lot of other hidden or potential catastrophic costs.

Buy from AARP / UnitedHealthcare

Buy supplemental coverage (Part C) and drug coverage (Part D) from AARP/United Healthcare. AARP markets supplemental and drug coverage for UnitedHealthcare. Almost all other insurers pay sales commissions to insurance salesmen. My cost for both supplemental and drug coverage is about $400 per month.

Notice that you end up making three payments each month. The people who administer the supplemental and drug plans work for UnitedHealthcare, but you can’t pay a bill that combines supplemental and drug coverage. Be sure to automate your payments.

Note that I am not an expert (I am not certified or licensed in anything related to Medicare.) or a professional (No one pays me to sell you anything.). However, I would prefer to hold and state an informed opinion. If you disagree with my opinions and decisions, please feel free to post a comment.

If you’d like to be confused by way too much information, then go here: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.20/handbook-2015.html

2 thoughts on “Simplfied Medicare Sign-up

  1. Rick Hesek

    Great stuff, Charlie. We appreciate your reduction of this somewhat complex decision.
    Coincidently, I received my “auto enrollment to Medicare” papers today and have yet to read through it.
    I have been covered by UHC since retirement and wondered what I would do, if I were to change anything, when I become Medicare age.
    Are you recommending buying supplemental and drug coverage from both Medicare AND AARP / UHC?
    I think I can forego Medicare and continue with my current UHC plan (spouse and me) which at @ $800 per month seems adequate. Debbie is 5 yrs younger and will continue working. Switching to Medicare, with the suggestions you have made, will cover only me and for about half that cost. Deb will need to buy med coverage at an additional premium.

    Thanks and regards,
    Rick Hesek

  2. Charlie Ahern Post author

    Make sure you do your research before you choose to “forego” Medicare. When you do eventually sign up, you would have to pay higher “penalty” rates for Parts B (medical) & D (drugs) for the rest of your life.

    Medicare covers Parts A (hospital) & B. Part A is free. Part B is $104.90 per month for everyone. Medicare does not provide insurance for Parts C (supplemental add-on to Part B) or D. You don’t have to buy either C or D. If you do buy Parts C & D, you have to buy them from an insurance company like UH. I buy C ($132.05 per month) and D ($51.20) from AARP/UH.

    We figured that we save a couple of hundred dollars a month with Medicare A & B + supplemental + drug for me, and my wife (age 62) purchases health insurance that’s more in-line with what she needs. Aside from cost, you should also consider how much healthcare services and medications you may each need. I rarely go to the doctor and don’t regularly take any drugs, while my wife has multiple chronic health problems.

    If you ‘re receiving Social Security now, then you can have your Part B payment automatically deducted.

    Good luck, and take care.

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