It is no secret that I will turn 65 in February. My daily mail, the phone calls, and the pop-ups on Facebook are proof that my 65th birthday is eagerly anticipated by a whole host of marketers. And yet, we are all celebrating the same thing, my transition to Medicare.
Countless clients have nervously approached their enrollment into Medicare as if they were buying a house or, worse, unboxing a new cellphone. They thought that it would be confusing and difficult. I have been suggesting the same two options for years. One option is to simply go online to www.medicare.gov. The other option was to go to the local Social Security office. Our local Social Security office (Beachwood, Ohio) has a great reputation for both efficient and respectful service. It was recently my turn to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.
Though it was tempting to just go to the Social Security office, I decided that I should try to enroll in Medicare online. The process begins up to three months before your birth month. On Friday, November 1st, I took the first step. The entire process, including registering on the Social Security website, took 20 minutes. It was easy, so easy I was actually worried that perhaps I had screwed up.
I received confirmation that the process had begun within days by both email and snail mail. On November 16th I received an oversized envelope in the mail. My card? I tore open the envelope to find the Extra Help forms. This program is designed to help financially challenged senior citizens pay the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments for their Medicare prescription drug program. Thankfully, I don’t need Extra Help. But if I did, this form would have been a breeze to complete.
My Medicare Card came in yesterday’s mail! It took less than three weeks. There is no reason to be nervous. The process is not hard. Sometime in the next month I will apply for my Medicare Supplement and Medicare Part D (Rx). This couldn’t have been easier.
I started to pay in to Social Security and Medicare in 1970 at the age of 15. I never doubted that Medicare would be waiting for me to turn 65. Never. All of that faith has paid off.
Picture – The Newest Medicare Beneficiary – David L Cunix