The “Baby Boomers” generation of Americans born in the years following World War II represent one of the largest generations in our nation’s history. With this generation becoming older and reaching the age of 65, the number of new enrollees into Medicare continues to rise.
In fact, since 2011, an estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers per day turn 65, and this statistic is expected to continue through 2030. Many of the employees in the Social Security Administration are also part of the Baby Boomer generation, meaning these offices are also losing some of the most experienced staff. More than ever before, it is necessary to ensure you keep track of deadlines and prepare if you are turning 65 in the near future or are already enrolled in Medicare.
First and foremost, it is important to start the enrollment process early. Medicare enrollment lasts for a 7-month period that begins 3 months prior to turning 65. Applications can either be submitted through setting up an appointment at any Social Security office or online. To find the Social Security office closest to you, or to apply online, visit www.ssa.gov or www.medicare.gov. It should also be noted that enrolling for Medicare is not mandatory. However, if you do not enroll in Medicare when you turn 65, and decide you want to enroll later, you can be subject to higher costs and a longer wait for coverage to take effect.
For those who already have Medicare, plans can change cost and coverage on a yearly basis, making the open enrollment period a critical time to switch plans if necessary. September and October is the best time of the year to review your current plan, and starting on October 15, open enrollment begins and changes can be made to current plans until December 7. New coverage takes effect on January 1 each year. If you are interested in making a change to your Medicare coverage, visit www.medicare.gov and use the “Medicare Plan Finder” to search for different options.
There are times when people experience difficulties either signing up for Medicare, or with Medicare claims and plans after coverage has started. Fortunately, my office is here to help with issues you may be experiencing with Medicare. My office can help provide you with resources to guide you through the process of enrolling, as well as assist with issues you are having with your current plan. We can also help you in setting up your appointment at the Social Security office to enroll in Medicare. Learn more about how my office can help you navigate Medicare by calling my Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve you in Congress, and I hope you can use my offices as a resource for you in working with federal agencies. If you have questions or comments about this or any other circumstance you are facing with a federal agency, I invite you to call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2015, Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968, Lancaster office at (740) 654-2654 or Wilmington office at (937) 283-7049.
Steve Stivers is a member of Congress from Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.