Medicare Still Confusing to Many Turning 65

Ten thousand people each day are turning 65 in this country. The majority of them have one thing in common; uncertainty and confusion about how Medicare works.

The good news is, there are some basics that can help you sort out your options and set up a timeline of what to do and when to do it.

Each week for the next few months, I will cover a different aspect of Medicare eligibility and enrollment in my blog. This week we will talk about some fundamentals of enrollment.

First,if you are turning 65, and currently have private individual insurance coverage (not through an employer or the employer of a spouse) you can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the 7-month period that begins 3 months prior to your birthday, the month of your birthday, and 3 months after your birthday. If Medicare is going to be your “primary” coverage, and you want that coverage to begin in your birthday month, you should enroll during the first three months of your IAP (initial enrollment period). If your birthday is after the 1st of the month, and you enroll in the first three months of your IAP, your Medicare coverage will begin on the 1st day of your birthday month. If your birthday is on the 1st day of the month your coverage will begin the first day of the prior month.

If you are continuing to work after 65, and are covered by insurance through active employment of yourself or your spouse, the rules are a bit different and you should definitely review your options with Medicare or a Medicare knowledgeable advisor. It gets a bit tricky if one person is working and the other is on Social Security and covered under an (actively employed) spouses group plan. In this case, because the (non-employee) covered spouse is already receiving Social Security benefits, they will automatically be enrolled in Part A and Part B and they may need to decline Part B to preserve their IAP for later. The guideline is related to the number of employees in the company providing the group coverage.

A+ Longevity offers Medicare consulting and free Medicare classes for people who need help understanding their benefits. Check out our current class schedule on the A+ Longevity Facebook page.


People with Original Medicare get a statement in the mail every 3 months for their Medicare Part A and Part B-covered services. This is called a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN). (Medicare loves acronyms!) The MSN shows all your services or supplies that providers and suppliers billed to Medicare during the 3-month period, what Medicare paid, and the maximum amount you may owe the provider.

The Centers for Medicare Services CMS recently announced a new design for the quarterly Medicare Summary Notices (MSN) you receive. As part of the Medicare initiative Your Medicare Information: Clearer, Simpler, At Your Fingertips The notices have a new look to make it easier for you to read and understand your Medicare information. Depending on what state you live in, the redesigned notices should be hitting your mailboxes beginning this summer. According to CMS, the notices have clearer language, larger type, and a format that is easier to follow.

Here’s what Medicare lists as some of the improvements you’ll see in your new MSN:

  • Larger text size and wider spacing to make reading easier
  • Plain, concise language you can understand quickly
  • A snapshot of
    • how much of your Part A or Part B deductible you’ve paid so far this year
    • the providers you saw during the reporting period
    • whether Medicare approved all your claims
  • Brief descriptions of your medical procedures
  • Easy-to-understand definitions for terms you might not know
  • A checklist to help you make sure you’re getting the most from your Medicare
  • Information on how to report fraud, preventive medical services, and important Medicare reminders
  • Easy instructions for how to file an appeal

These revised statements should be helpful to folks who have an N plan or a G plan Medicare Supplement in determining exactly how much of their deductible has been met. Remember, if you have an F plan- it pays all co-payments and deductibles so you don’t have to worry about it!

Remember, if you are an A+ Longevity member, we are here to serve you! If you have questions about your new MSN and want to sit down and review it together, just give us a call and we’ll set up a visit.

You can find more information at

Hope you find this information helpful.