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Health Care Reform:

Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

Enrolling in Medicare

Step 2 for Enrolling in Medicare continued...

Everyone pays a monthly fee for Medicare Part B insurance, which is usually taken out of your Social Security payment. Most people will pay the standard premium amount, which in 2015 is $104.90.You may choose not to participate in Medicare Part B insurance, which covers doctor visits and other outpatient medical services.

Your Part B premium may be higher if you didn't sign up for Part B when you first became eligible. 

Also, if your modified adjusted gross income -- as reported on your IRS tax return from two years ago -- is above $85,000 for single filers or $170,000 for joint filers, you will pay from $42.00 to $230.80 more per month. The maximum premium is $335.70.

If you are still working and you are covered under your union or employer's health insurance -- or if you are covered under your spouse's employee health insurance -- Medicare Part B may not be necessary until you lose that coverage. 

If you were enrolled in Medicare automatically and do not want Part B:

  • A form that comes in the mail with your Medicare card allows you to opt out of Part B.
  • Indicate that you do not want Part B coverage on the form.

If you are enrolling yourself in Medicare:

  • Indicate that you do not want Part B when you enroll by phone, by Internet, or in person.

If you opt out of Part B when you are enrolled, you may pay higher premiums if you decide you want it later. The premium goes up 10% every year that you could have had Part B.

There are some exceptions. You will not pay more for signing up later:

  • If you are covered by another group health plan when you turn 65
  • If you sign up for Part B within eight months of losing group health coverage

If you decline Part B at first, and do not sign up within eight months after your other health coverage ends, you can only sign up during Medicare's General Enrollment Period: January 1 to March 31 of each year, and your coverage will begin July 1 of that year.

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