Medicare Rights Center
Is Medicare Automatic?
Q: Will I be enrolled in Medicare automatically when I get my Social Security retirement benefits this year?
Dear Joan, You should not wait until you get your retirement benefits to enroll in Medicare if you are turning 65 and need health insurance, because it could result in not getting Medicare for over a year. This year, Social Security’s retirement age is four months after a person’s 65th birthday, which is past the Medicare initial enrollment period. This is the seven-month period, which includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months following a person’s 65th birthday. Don’t wait; call 1-800-772-1213 and make an appointment with your local Social Security office to sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period.
Q: I need new glasses will Medi-care pay?
Dear Roger, Unless you need these glasses because you just had cataract surgery, Medicare will not pay for your glasses. Medicare does not pay for routine eye care or glasses, but it does pay for an annual glaucoma screening for people at high risk for the disease (people with diabetes or high blood pressure, people with a family history of glaucoma, and African Americans age 50 and older.)
Medicare Answers is a service of the Medicare Rights Center (www. medi carerights.org), the nation’s largest independent source of information and assistance for people with Medicare. To subscribe MRC’s free educational e-newsletter, simply e-mail dearmarci@medicare rights.org