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You're Turning 65: A Must-Do Checklist

By , Caring.com Expert
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If you're about to turn age 65 (or know someone who is) it's time to consider some things that can greatly affect your finances and healthcare. In the months leading up to -- or in the months immediately following, if you've been a little slow -- your 65th birthday, do the following:

Health-Related Matters

  • Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. Almost everyone age 65 and older is eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A (inpatient care) and Medicare Part B (outpatient care). You may sign up as early as three months before your 65th birthday to ensure that your coverage begins on the day you turn 65.
  • Consider a Medicare Part C managed care plan. Many people age 65 and older enroll in a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage HMO or other managed care plan. These plans replace and provide broader coverage than traditional Medicare Parts A and B. They are somewhat cheaper than the combination of regular Medicare plus a private Medigap supplemental insurance policy, but they limit the health providers you may use. Some Part C plans include prescription drug coverage.
  • Consider a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The high cost of prescription drugs leads the majority of people age 65 and over to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, which provides some reduction in yearly drug costs.
  • Shop for a Medigap insurance policy to supplement Medicare. Medicare leaves unpaid a large portion of most people's medical bills. To fill in the gaps in Medicare payments, many people buy a private Medigap supplemental insurance policy. Your right to buy the policy of your choice only lasts until six months after you enroll in Medicare Part B.