· When you were in high school, your 45 minute Biology class seemed to last for hours.
· When you were a freshman in college, it seemed like four years to graduate was a lifetime.
· When you had kids, they moved from infancy to toddlerhood to kindergarten to pimples and paying for their college in a blink.
Then, you turn 50, and got the “Welcome to AARP” letter. That wake up call signaled retirement age (not necessarily retirement) was/is just around the corner.
The older we get, the faster life seems to move. If you’re like me, you’re asking yourself, “Where did my life go?” One day you’re paying for diapers, the next it’s weddings, and then…BOOM. You’re there. You’re “old”. (You don’t feel it, you don’t look it, but somehow, the years don’t lie. You’re there.) Your kids have procreated, you’re a grandparent, and you’re planning your retirement and looking forward to the day you qualify for Medicare. (Really? Most of us are still working – not because we want to, but because that’s the way the economy ball bounces.) Fast forward…
Most people 65 or older are eligible for Medicare hospital insurance (Part A),a federally administered system of health insurance available to persons aged 65 and over, based on their own—or their spouse’s— employment. You are eligible at 65 if you:
- Receive Social Security or railroad retirement benefits;
- Are not getting Social Security or railroad retirement benefits, but you have worked long enough to be eligible for them;
- Would be entitled to Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s (or divorced spouse’s) work record, and that spouse is at least 62 (your spouse does not have to apply for benefits in order for you to be eligible based on your spouse’s work) ;or
- Worked long enough in a federal, state, or local government job to be insured for Medicare.
If you’re under age 65, you are eligible for Medicare hospital insurance if you:
- Get Social Security disability benefits and have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s) disease; or
- Have been a Social Security disability beneficiary for 24 months; or
- Have worked long enough in a federal, state, or local government job and you meet the requirements of the Social Security disability program.
Each year millions of Americans become eligible to receive the benefits of Medicare. Because everyone has different health needs, the federal government imposed a special time period when Medicare recipients can change their prescription drug benefits, called the Annual Election Period, which runs from November 15 to December 31 every year.
During this period, Medicare beneficiaries may join a Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD) to receive prescription drug benefits. This is a critical time of year and Medicare beneficiaries should take this time to research options that can help improve health and save money.
The government works with medical providers and drug manufacturers to cut special deals with them, resulting in lower costs to the masses. For example, effective January 1, 2011, all members of Universal American’s Medicare Part D Prescription drug plans, Community CCRxSM PDP, as well as all members of its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans can purchase LIPITOR and CRESTOR, two popular cholesterol-lowering drugs, for $0 to $4 through the company’s nationwide network of 64,000 pharmacies, including independent pharmacies, regional chain stores, and major retail drug chains.
For additional information, click on How to qualify for Medicare or visit www.medicare.gov.To receive Ellen Jacob’s articles in your in-box, click SUBSCRIBE. It’s FREE and your email will never be shared with anyone. Share your funny, cute, awwww! grand-giggles by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org type GRANDGIGGLES in the Subject Line.