By Hook Law Center
If your 65th birthday is approaching, you should make sure you are aware of your Medicare options and are prepared to enroll in Medicare if necessary. Here are a few things you should know.
First, if you are receiving Social Security benefits already, then you will be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) automatically. You should receive information about enrollment three months prior to your 65th birthday. You will become eligible beginning the first day of the month you turn 65. If you turn 65 on the first day of the month, then you will be enrolled beginning on the first day of the prior month.
Most people not already receiving Social Security benefits will have to enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration. You can enroll anytime during a seven-month period that starts three months prior to your 65th birthday. You also have the option of choosing a Medicare Advantage (Part C) private insurance plan as an alternative to Part A and Part B. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan, it may include prescription drug coverage; otherwise, you will have to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
Finally, be sure to consider the timing and interaction of any health insurance you receive through your employer. If you are retiring at age 65 and moving into Medicare, be sure to coordinate the dates of your coverage. If you will keep working past age 65, then you will need to understand how your employer’s group health plan interacts with Medicare; it may still be necessary for you to enroll in Medicare.
By Hook Law Center
A bill has been introduced in the Virginia state legislature to provide state funding for a new health care center for veterans in Hampton Roads, The facility would supplement the care provided by the Hampton VA Medical Center.
The new center has been proposed before, but funding was stalled. Now, a dispute over a new legislative office building may end up benefiting veterans. After Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he would not move forward with plans for a $300 million Capitol Square building, a bill was introduced earmarking part of the funding for the veterans’ health care center.
The bill, HB 1275, would dedicate $28.5 million in state bonds for the center, and the funds would come out of money previously intended to replace the General Assembly Building. The center is intended to be funded jointly by the federal government and state government, but it remains unclear whether federal funding would be forthcoming.
Last month, Gov. McAuliffe ordered work on the new legislative building halted, saying that spending $300 million on a new building for legislators sent the wrong message at a time of fiscal constraint.
There are over 800,000 veterans in Virginia, but the state ranks 44th in the ratio of veterans to available health care centers.