Published on October 09, 2014
New to Medicare
Medicare Eligible? New to Medicare? We want to make sure you have the coverage you deserve. Below are some important resources to answer your questions and help you navigate the Medicare system.
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Information Provided by Medicare.Gov
(The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare)
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for:
- People age 65 or older.
- People under age 65 with certain disabilities.
- People of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).
You can choose different ways to get the services covered by Medicare. Depending on where you live, you may have different choices. In most cases, when you first get Medicare, you are in Original Medicare. You may want to consider a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Or, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) that provides all your Part A, Part B, and often Part D coverage. You make a choice when you are first eligible for Medicare. Each year you can review your health and prescription needs and switch to a different plan in the fall.
As long as you have both Part A and Part B, items covered by Part A and Part B are covered whether you have Original Medicare, or you belong to a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO). For more information see the Your Medicare Coverage database.
Who is Eligible?
Generally, you are eligible for Medicare if you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and you are 65 years or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. If you aren't yet 65, you might also qualify for coverage if you have a disability or with End-Stage Renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant).
Here are some simple guidelines. You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:
- You already get retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
- You are eligible to get Social Security or Railroad benefits but haven't yet filed for them.
- You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.
If you are under 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if you have:
- Received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
- End-Stage Renal Disease and meet certain requirements.
While you don't have to pay a premium for Part A if you meet one of those conditions, you must pay for Part B if you want it. The Part B monthly premium in 2010 is $110.50. (Note: Most beneficiaries will continue to pay the same $96.40 premium amount they pay today.) This is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you don't get any of the above payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.
Note: You will be eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 even if you are not eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.
What are the Parts of Medicare
The following phone numbers and contact agencies are for Wisconsin residents. If you live outside of Wisconsin and are looking for contact information, or the agency you are looking for is not listed, please see the Government Medicare site for more information.