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To US expats - Registration with Medicare at age 65

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I'll be 65 next month October. Been receiving Social Security since age 62. IIRC, I think ubonjoe once replied to my inquiry (I can't find that thread now) that 3 months before my 65th birthday, Social Security office will send me a letter regarding registration (or what to do) with Medicare. So far I haven't received any such letter... Should I be concerned to contact SS in Manila? I'm total newbie regarding this issue.

Thanks in advance for any tip/advice you can come up with.

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On 9/4/2019 at 11:14 AM, Pib said:

 

Below Medicare webpage should help/answer your question.  But best to ask Manila SSO to be sure since you haven't received the letter.

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/how-do-i-get-parts-a-b

 

Thanks Pibs for the link and the advice. I looked up and saw that in my case since I've already got SS benefits months before age 65, I will be getting Medicare A + B automatically:

 

"If you already get benefits from Social Security, you'll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you're first eligible and don't need to sign up. Medicare will send you a "Welcome to Medicare" packet 3 months before you turn 65. You'll still have other important deadlines and actions to take, so read all of the materials in the packet. (If you live in Puerto Rico, you'll only get Part A. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it.)"

 

- and that I would need to sign up for part D if I want drug coverage. First thing first I'm going to email Manila also to inquire about the  "Welcome to Medicare" packet that I haven't yet received. Will keep you posted what happens next. (I recall we discussed briefly about this in one previous conversation...)

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On 9/5/2019 at 2:03 AM, smo said:

Thanks Pibs for the link and the advice. I looked up and saw that in my case since I've already got SS benefits months before age 65, I will be getting Medicare A + B automatically:

 

"If you already get benefits from Social Security, you'll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you're first eligible and don't need to sign up. Medicare will send you a "Welcome to Medicare" packet 3 months before you turn 65. You'll still have other important deadlines and actions to take, so read all of the materials in the packet. (If you live in Puerto Rico, you'll only get Part A. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it.)"

 

- and that I would need to sign up for part D if I want drug coverage. First thing first I'm going to email Manila also to inquire about the  "Welcome to Medicare" packet that I haven't yet received. Will keep you posted what happens next. (I recall we discussed briefly about this in one previous conversation...)

Non-residents of the US are not eligible for Part D or any other Medicare features beyond Parts A and B.

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To say not eligible is incorrect... You can buy the insurance but to receive any benefit you must be in the US hospital or pharmacy... and if you don't buy in at 65 the insurance cost rises 10% every year and can only be bought during a special enrollment period every year...

Edited by sfokevin
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On 9/7/2019 at 2:11 AM, sfokevin said:

To say not eligible is incorrect... You can buy the insurance but to receive any benefit you must be in the US hospital or pharmacy... and if you don't buy in at 65 the insurance cost rises 10% every year and can only be bought during a special enrollment period every year...

Wrong in every particular.  It's only Part B that has the 10% penalty if you sign up later.  Expats can and do sign up for Part B.  For every other part we are not eligible, i.e. we can only buy it if we fraudulently and foolishly claim to reside in the US.  

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:55 PM, cmarshall said:

Non-residents of the US are not eligible for Part D or any other Medicare features beyond Parts A and B.

I find this the most accurate according to my Google inquiry at least regarding part D. The part that initially got me worried was the "lifetime" penalty for late sign-up concerning part D. Then Google told me that non-residents ie expats are not eligible for it. But once the expat returns and starts residing in the US again ie re-becoming US resident then part D will be applicable. The signup window for IEP (initial enrollment period) then begins: opens 3 months prior and closes 3 months after the new beginning date of residence. Meaning as I understand it you can sign up for it 3 months prior to going back home if you need to fill your prescription pronto the moment after landing.

 

I'm not worrying about part B right now because seemingly both parts A and B are automatic in my case. But still I want that welcome packet from Social Security. I have emailed FBU Manila and their response time is 10 business days so still waiting. I remember there were threads that went into further details about the whole business of Medicare - but maybe the discussion was embedded in threads of different topics and consequently a search on Thaivisa has brought scant info so far...If anyone knows and can give a link to those threads that would be much appreciated, thanks.

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So I understand there is a penalty for Supp B if one does not sign up for it when first eligible.  I had not looked into Supp D much.  So if I truly do reside in the USA, is there any penalty for not signing up for Supp D at a time after my first Supp B eligibility, i.e. can a US resident sign up for Supp D at any time without penalty?

Edited by gk10002000
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1 hour ago, mania said:

Thank you. So B and D each have late enrollment penalties.  I have seen all sorts of ads on TV and the internet for other Medicare supplements from places other than medicare/ the government.  Wonder how good those are?  I guess I will start poking around some more.

 

Thanks for the D thingy

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So at the moment I am closing in on 63.   When I hit 65 I become eligible for Medicare.  At the moment the basic costs could be, assuming no late enrollment penalties, and I keep my income below $85,000 a year.  :

 

Part A:  0

Supp_B:  $135

Supp_D: ~ $35  (seems to be about the listed national average)

 

I see all sorts of cost options and Supp D plans seem to vary a bit between states, exact options chosen etc.  And I see some plans that kind of combine Supp_B and Supp_D features.   Oh well.  Still have time to sort things out.   My social security check is going to be somewhere around $2300, give or take.  So between the medicare costs being deducted right off the top, and then some Federal Taxes being deducted since my income will be somewhat above the basic level that keeps social security benefits from being not taxed.   Oh well.  1500 or 1800 a month net is not too bad.  Of course I have planned for and set aside and created enough passive income to more than cover things.  Still, not hard to see why so many elders are in financial straits

 

Thanks for the pointers.

Edited by gk10002000
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Medicare doesnt cover you when out of country. However many of the add on plans do. I have a HMO plan that covers me while out of country for accidents and sudden illnesses. The plan is free.

Pays to check out these plans to see what works for you?

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3 hours ago, mania said:

BUT

Medicare Part D is only available while residing in the U.S. Individuals can join Medicare Part D or a Medicare Part C plan that includes prescription drug coverage under SEP rules within two months of returning to the States. If they do not, they will pay a lifelong penalty of 1% per month of the premium amount for every month they were eligible for prescription drug coverage and did not enroll. 

 

https://goodcare.com/dealing-with-medicare-as-an-expat-when-and-how-to-enroll/

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On 9/9/2019 at 11:07 AM, smo said:

I'm not worrying about part B right now because seemingly both parts A and B are automatic in my case. But still I want that welcome packet from Social Security.

Well, automatic is not exactly correct. You still have to sign up for it and authorize the payment to be deducted from your monthly benefit. The Welcome Packet will explain it all in detail.

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