Hi, my name is Mike Lanway, I'm a financial planner. I'm an expert in federal employee benefits, and I'm here to help you decide what you need to do to make best use of those benefits to your advantage.
A lot of people think about Medicare for some reason, I'm not really sure why. I have a friend who just turned 65, I call it his "Medicare Day" when he turns 65. Until you're 65 years old, I'm not sure that Medicare should be a real topic of research. It shouldn't be something that you're really straining to learn, because we're at a period of time where they're going to change the rules, and it's going to make a significant difference to you and me.
Here's the rule about when and how you can enroll in Medicare, and if you're not there, maybe back off a little bit and let's just wait and see what's happening with the politicians, and the government, and how they might change Medicare. This is for those people who are three months before- right now, you're three months before your 65th birthday to three months after your 65th birthday. That's the initial enrollment period.
In that initial enrollment period, for people who are actually going to enroll in Part A and remain employees, or for people who are already retired and they'll enroll in Part A and in Part B, because they decided that that's something they'd like to have in addition to their FEHB program. For FERS employees who are retired, FEHB is really a foundation piece of health insurance that remains a foundation piece for rest of your life, even in retirement.
Medicare becomes primary when you're retired. If you enroll in Part B, it becomes your primary coverage for everything but charges from a hospital, so you want to consider it. It's not something you have to enroll in, but it's certainly something you want to think about enrolling in and decide, "is this what I really want to do," in this initial three months before 65 to three months after 65. That's the time to sign up.
"Medicare becomes primary when you're retired. If you enroll in Part B, it becomes your primary coverage for everything but charges from a hospital, so you want to consider it."
If you're retired, you sign up in Part B, but if you're still working, only part A. The rest of it, we can talk later. We'll have more to say on Medicare, just think about it. Remember, if you're not 65 yet, if you're not near that initial moment; if you're 64, or younger than 64 and six months, or if you're 63, or 62 or younger than that, let's not worry about it yet. Let's think about it later.
We hope you enjoyed our video series on the different components of your retirement and your benefits. If you want to see more, learn more at your own pace, use our annual benefit statement. You'll see the link at the bottom and within the description. Go there, take a look at it, we think you'll be happy with what you see and and that it's going to help you.