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There is a snotty little adolescent living in my head. Today, she had quite the response to the mail I received from Socialist Insecurity regarding my impending birthday and Medicare sign up.

I'm on DH's insurance, and it is very good insurance. I certainly don't need to fork over $170/month for Part B.

I don't think I need Part A, either.

Called SSA and lost an hour and 9 minutes of my life to talk to someone who is obviously on meth. Talked faster than someone who had 3 triple shot lattes. The gist of his response to me was, "Sign up for Part A. It don't cost nuthin', and you don't have to use it."

So why do I have to sign up for it? Is it mandatory?

"Yes, it is."

No, it's not. Somewhere along the line, it appears that B becomes mandatory, but WTAH? WHY?

So now I am debating whether to sign up for A while declining B, or to fill out the special form Mr Brilliant at the SSA emailed to me, excusing me (for now) from applying for Part A.

I just resent the repeated financial rape of Medicare and all its "perks" that are foisted upon us.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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Is Medicare Mandatory?
I have no idea.

Medicare is a part of SS, and SS is not mandatory for anyone. Everyone who has an SS policy had to voluntarily ask for a policy.

I am a retired US servicemember. My family and I are on Tricare. My ID card expires on my 65th birthday. The ID card office told me this it to force me to come into their office that week, so they can sign me up for Medicare. I suspect that for me, as a voluntary SS policyholder and US servicemember, I will be forced to be on Medicare.
 

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SM Entrepreneuraholic
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For most people, Medicare is critical. Understanding it is a different question and problem.

You might try calling an insurance broker. There are a few that publish videos on youtube and seem to know their stuff. They make a commission if you sign up for an Advantage plan, a Medigap plan, or a drug plan, but I have always found them willing to answer questions.

You also need to check and make sure you can stay on your husbands policy once you are eligible for Medicare. If I remember correctly, I think most policies have a clause asking if a person is eligible for Medicare or other insurance.

If you do have to go on Medicare, make sure you understand the program because your initial plan choice may be almost impossible to change in the future. Because I had my aortic valve replaced, I can't change plans without going through underwriting.
 

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Technically it is not mandatory. HOWEVER, if you do not sign up when you are first eligible, the PTB ding you for an extra 10% for every year you don't sign up. And that is a forever ding.

Not only that, but if you refuse Medicare, they withhold your Social Security. No Medicare, No Social Security.
Great program , huh? Shouldn't be legal, since it is YOUR Social Security, but there it is.

We just went through this with my husband. Just because you are 65 you are basically forced to sign up and pay.
They also don't let you pay monthly, it is a great big quarterly chunk they bill you for.
Even though his full retirement age is 67 1/2 and were planning on waiting till then (when he might actually retire) to start Social Security.

If you can prove you have alternative insurance, you can defer it, but they will probably still ding
you for the extra $.
 

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I didn’t know anything about a spouse working for a company for fewer than 20 employees could have an effect. Might not apply to your situation.

If your spouse’s company has fewer than 20 employees, then Medicare generally becomes the primary payer at age 65 and the employer’s coverage is secondary. This means that Medicare pays your bills first and the employer’s plan pays only for services it covers but Medicare doesn’t. In this case, if you’re not enrolled in Medicare, you would receive almost no coverage from the employer plan.
 

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If you don’t sign up when you are eligible, and choose to sign up later, as life’s circumstances change, there are financial penalties. (My understanding from a few years ago.)
Yes. I was told that there is a permanent penalty for failing to sign up of 1% per month. A friend told me of a guy who didn't feel he needed medicare so he didn't sign up for 3 years. He now has a 36% penalty each month.

I would definitely check to see if your current insurance satisfies their exceptions AND get it writing. You could look on the medicare site to get you started.
 

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Yes, but you are retired military. His benefits would have been more if he could have waited until full retirement age.
Although the way things are going, who know if SS will be there by then. It is pretty much a coin flip for lots of people
as to when to take it. He is one of those who probably "can't" retire anyway. He can't stand being home all the time and
I most certainly can't stand having him hovering at home all the time either. Best if he stays busy doing what he loves.
 

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Yes. I was told that there is a permanent penalty for failing to sign up of 1% per month. A friend told me of a guy who didn't feel he needed medicare so he didn't sign up for 3 years. He now has a 36% penalty each month.

I would definitely check to see if your current insurance satisfies their exceptions AND get it writing. You could look on the medicare site to get you started.
I dont understand .....they take the penalty out of what? The guy had 36% "penalty" applied to what?

"Technically it is not mandatory. HOWEVER, if you do not sign up when you are first eligible, the PTB ding you for an extra 10% for every year you don't sign up. And that is a forever ding"


Ding you, how?
 

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I have no idea.

Medicare is a part of SS, and SS is not mandatory for anyone. Everyone who has an SS policy had to voluntarily ask for a policy.

I am a retired US servicemember. My family and I are on Tricare. My ID card expires on my 65th birthday. The ID card office told me this it to force me to come into their office that week, so they can sign me up for Medicare. I suspect that for me, as a voluntary SS policyholder and US servicemember, I will be forced to be on Medicare.
I have a friend who retired from the Navy. He has a birthday coming up January where he will turn 69 or 70. I forget which. But he and his wife both have Tricare.
 

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For most people, Medicare is critical. Understanding it is a different question and problem.

You night try calling an insurance broker. There are a few that publish videos on youtube and seem to know their stuff. They make a commission if you sign up for an Advantage plan, a Medigap plan, or a drug plan, but I have always fund them willing to answer questions.

You also need to check and make sure you can stay on your husbands policy once you are eligible for Medicare. If I remember correctly, I think most policies have a clause asking if a person is eligible for Medicare or other insurance.

If you do have to go on Medicare, make sure you understand the program because your initial plan choice may be almost impossible to change in the future. Because I had my aortic valve replaced, I can't change plans without going through underwriting.
I think everyone goes through underwriting. I know when I was thinking of changing to a more expensive, all coverage plan I had to.

If all you're doing is going from one Advantage plan to another there shouldn't be any issues with switching.
 

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It means they charge you that penalty (or ding) extra every month above and beyond what you would normally pay for Medicare premiums.
So, instead of the $170 every month they take out of your SS, it would be 36% more than that. EVERY month till you die. It's a scam.
 

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Technically it is not mandatory. HOWEVER, if you do not sign up when you are first eligible, the PTB ding you for an extra 10% for every year you don't sign up. And that is a forever ding.

Not only that, but if you refuse Medicare, they withhold your Social Security. No Medicare, No Social Security.
Great program , huh? Shouldn't be legal, since it is YOUR Social Security, but there it is.

We just went through this with my husband. Just because you are 65 you are basically forced to sign up and pay.
They also don't let you pay monthly, it is a great big quarterly chunk they bill you for.
Even though his full retirement age is 67 1/2 and were planning on waiting till then (when he might actually retire) to start Social Security.

If you can prove you have alternative insurance, you can defer it, but they will probably still ding
you for the extra $.
It depends on the plan. I pay monthly.
 

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I've paid for Medicare for 54 years (since I was 14). So, I'm going to use it. I retired at age 68. Since I had insurance through my employer, I signed up for Part A only (which has no monthly premiums). When I retired, I signed up for Part B (which does have monthly premiums). Before I could get Part B, at age 68, I had to prove that I had health insurance (from age 65 to 68). If I could not provide this proof, I would of had to pay a SIGNIFICANT penalty to get Part B.
 

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I'm not talking about a Medicare Advantage plan. I am talking about basic Medicare that is provided directly by the govt.
You don't have to sign up for extras which is what Advantage plans are. That is an extra $ amount on top of what you
pay through SS for Medicare. They may let you pay monthly, but the gov't. does not.
 

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When you first turn 65, you must sign up for Medicare Part A.
You don't have to use it, however.
I did not retire until age 67.5, at that point I began using Part A and activated Part B.
However, that is not enough to save you from bankruptcy if you have a catastrophic illness or injury.
That is where a supplemental policy from a non-government becomes essential. HOWEVER, you MUST do your research and get a good one.
So, the government charges $200/month for Part B, plus I pay $300/month for my supplemental. NOT an Advantage Plan, they suck.
As ex-military I am eligible for USAA insurance. I have their Medicare Supplemental Plan F, and my recent total knee replacement was completely covered. Just the hospital part alone was $138,000!!!
I could have gotten it done by the VA, but there is no way in hell I would let a VA doctor do something that extreme.
 
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