GREENSBORO, N.C. — You have the next 24 hours to enroll and make changes to your current Medicare plan. The deadline is December 7, 2021. Now, before you say, ‘I like the plan I'm on’, just know the plan you're on right now may be changing for next year.
“We especially want to look at your prescription drug plan, part d or if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, Part C. Compare the plans because you might be on a medication that is a Tier 2 and if you don't check it out that medication could jump to a Tier 3 or 4 and that is going to cost you a lot of money in the long run throughout the year,” said Morgan Campbell of Alliance Insurance Services.
Sticker shock is no fun. Take the time to go online and look at the plans. This is the part of the website that helps you shop for drug plans and the advantage plans you just heard about.
Medicare.gov is the official site. You don't simply want to Google the words ‘enroll’ and ‘Medicare’ because lots of third-party sites come up. Go to the official source.
Here's the next key point, when you turn 65 years old, you have to sign up for Medicare, even if you are still working and have private insurance.
“At 65, whether it's three months before or after your birthday, it's your responsibility to go in and sign up for Medicare. If you don't there are some penalties attached to it,” said Catherine Sevier of NC AARP.
You have a seven-month period to sign up. It starts three months before your 65th birthday and goes through your birthday month and then extends for three months after. If you miss that window you will suffer a 10% penalty every 12 months and that penalty doesn't go away once you start Medicare--- you will pay that higher premium for the rest of your life.