When it comes to retirement planning, age 65 can be a magical number. Well, not magical per se, but it's a number pre-retirees need to keep at the top of the retirement planning to-do list — especially when it comes to Medicare.
We've put together three need-to-know Medicare tips for helping you get the most out of your healthcare retirement planning efforts.
1.Save the date
Most Americans are eligible for Medicare at age 65. And unless you're already receiving Social Security benefits, you'll need to remember to circle the date and sign up for coverage. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends signing up for Medicare three months before you turn 65. Otherwise, your Medicare insurance coverage could be delayed, and you may be subject to late penalties and even charged higher premiums. However, if you or your spouse are still working and your employer provides you with health insurance, you can delay your Medicare enrollment — without risking late penalties — until your employment ends.1
2.Know your A-B-C and D's
Medicare is divided into different parts — A, B, C and D. Part A gets you help paying for hospital cost and services, Part B is coverage for doctor and outpatient services, Part C offers you private insurance options, and Part D helps cover prescription costs. Before you select a Medicare plan, consider each of these options carefully by comparing the costs and benefits. Do your homework and visit the SSA's Website to learn more.
Prepare for out-of-pocket costs
Medicare insurance covers a lot of health care services, but it doesn't cover everything. For example, Medicare doesn't always include coverage for routine dental, hearing, and vision care, nor does it cover you for medical services outside of the U.S. It's important to know what items and services aren't covered under Medicare Part A and Part B, because you'll have to pay for these items and services yourself — unless you have other insurance to help cover these costs.