Do you have the right Medicare plan? It is fall, which means it is time to think about whether your current plan is still giving you the best coverage or whether a new plan could save you money or offer better coverage. Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7.
To prevent fraud and fight identity theft, the federal government is issuing new cards to all Medicare beneficiaries that will no longer have beneficiaries' Social Security numbers on them. The government began mailing the cards in April 2018 and the new cards should be completely distributed by April 2019.
Medicare is extending its offer of relief from penalties for certain Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicare Part A and had coverage through the individual marketplace. Beneficiaries who qualify will be able to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty for late enrollment if they enroll by September 30, 2018.
The first of the 78 million baby boomers turned 65 on January 1, 2011, and some 10,000 boomers a day will reportedly be turning 65 between now and 2030. If you are about to turn 65, then it is time to think about Medicare. You become eligible for Medicare as soon as you turn 65, and delaying your enrollment can result in penalties, so it is important to act right away.
In 2018, Social Security recipients will get their largest cost of living increase in benefits since 2012, but the additional income will likely be largely eaten up by higher Medicare Part B premiums.