[gplus count=”true” href=”http://solidhealthinsurance.com/blog/turning-65-how-to-find-affordable-health-insurance-in-santa-monica” size=”Medium” ]When you are turning 65 years old there are many ways to find affordable health insurance in Santa Monica.

The most important step is to collect all the information needed, to avoid penalties and make a wise decision which fits your personal and financial health care needs.  A very valuable resource is the website of the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

If you are currently receiving Social Security or Railroad retirement benefits,  you will receive a packet in the mail approx. three months before your 65th birthday. You will be automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B with no action on your part.

Part A Hospital Insurance – Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A because they or a spouse already paid for it through their payroll taxes while working. Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care). It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care. Beneficiaries must meet certain conditions to get these benefits.

Part B Medical Insurance – Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover doctors’ services and outpatient care. It also covers some other medical services that Part A doesn’t cover, such as some of the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary. When you receive the package you still have the option to decline or delay  Part B benefits. This might be suitable if you are still working and have a health insurance coverage through your employer. To decide if this is it is advisable talk to your benefits coordinator at your work. If you qualify to delay your enrollment on Medicare Part B and you choose to do so, you can enroll in Medicare without penalty at any while you still have your group health insurance coverage. You are also eligible to enroll up to eight months after you stop working or you loose your group health insurance coverage, which ever happens first.  Unless you have group insurance through your employer you will be penalized for not enrolling in Medicare Part B. You will be accessed a 10 % Part B premium penalty for each twelve-month period you delay enrollment in Medicare Part B. So if you decided not to enroll for 5 years in part B and had no group health insurance during this time, you will have to a penalty of 50 % more on the Medicare Part B premium every month as long as you have Medicare.

If you do not receive the package with the information of Medicare Part A and Part B it is advisable to contact your local Social Security office to begin the enrollment process. If you are eligible to enroll in Medicare you have to do this within the seven-month period. ( three months prior, the month of and three months after your 65th birthday.

Prescription Drug Coverage – ( Part D) Most people will pay a monthly premium for this coverage. Since January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage has been  available to everyone with Medicare. Everyone with Medicare can get this coverage that may help lower prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage is insurance. Private companies provide the coverage. Beneficiaries choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like other insurance, if a beneficiary decides not to enroll in a drug plan when they are first eligible, they may pay a penalty if they choose to join later.The Medicare late-enrollment penalty (LEP) is equal to about 1% of the national average premium per month or 12% each year. For example, if you decide to join a plan three years after you initially become eligible, the late-enrollment penalty would increase your premium by 36%. This penalty remains for the length of time that you have Medicare Part D coverage, regardless of the plan.

Many people with Original Medicare ( Part A, B ) find there are expenses that are not covered. For example  in Part A there is a Hospital Inpatient Deductible for 2011 for $ 1132. This deductible varies each year , also there are Hospital Co-Insurance depending on the length of  hospital stays. To help pay for some of these additional costs, many people choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplemental plan.

So you see there are many important decision to be made when you are about to turn 65 years, let us assist you to find affordable health insurance in Santa Monica.