RSVP’s volunteer PA MEDI Medicare counselors are specially trained volunteers who can answer your questions about Medicare and provide you with objective, easy-to-understand information.
How do I enroll in Medicare?If you are collecting social security, you will receive your Medicare card three months prior to you 65th birthday. If eligible for Medicare due to disability your Medicare card will arrive in the mail a few weeks before you receive your 25th disability check. If you are not collecting social security, you will need to apply for Medicare with the Social Security administration. Call Social Security at 800-772-1213 to schedule an appointment at the local office- in person or over the phone, or visit the local SS office during normal business hours and take a number to wait until someone is available to help, or call your local SS office and set up an appointment. You will need to take identifying information with you.
Is Medicare counseling expensive?There are State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) throughout the USA that provide free and confidential Medicare counseling. Here in Pennsylvania this program is known as APPRISE and in Montgomery County it is administered through RSVP. Volunteer counselors receive initial and ongoing state training. The service is free and unbiased. Counseling sites in the county are listed on the www.rsvpmc.org website and include senior centers, libraries, Aging and Adult service office, Abington Hospital and the RSVP office in King of Prussia. Call 610-834-1040 ext. 120 to talk with a counselor. Every question is important.
Can I delay taking Part B of Medicare?You can delay taking Part B and avoid the penalty if you fit one of the following categories: If you are turning 65 and are going to continue to work for an employer with 20 or more employees and receive group health benefits with creditable drug coverage If you are turning 65 and are covered under your actively working spouse’s employer group health plan with creditable drug coverage and with 20 or more employees If you are under 65 and receive Medicare due to disability and you continue to work and are covered by the groups health plan with creditable drug coverage and with an employer with 100 or more employees If you are under 65 and receive Medicare due to disability and are covered by your actively working spouse’s group health plan with creditable drug coverage and with an employer with 100 or more employees
What is this Extra Help I hear about?Extra Help is a Medicare program to help people with limited income and resources pay their Medicare prescription drug costs. This program is also known as LIS or low income subsidy. In 2021 the eligibility limits for people on Medicare are: To view current rates click here
I understand there are some enrollment changes for Medicare recently passed by Congress?Yes. There are some changes ahead but the Benes Act does not go into effect until 2023. If you miss your initial enrollment period now and are not eligible for a special enrollment you cannot sign up until general enrollment in January and your coverage doesn’t begin until July. The new change to Medicare rules will help eliminate that lapse in coverage. The copied explanation of the change is: " Under the new law, starting in 2023, whether you enroll during your initial enrollment period or you enroll during the general enrollment period, Medicare coverage will begin the month after enrollment. The law also allows Medicare to make exceptions for people who delay enrollment because of an “exceptional circumstance,” such as a natural disaster. Finally, the new law directs the federal government to align the Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D enrollment periods by 2023."
Have more questions?
Contact Douglas Keene, PA MEDI Program Coordinator