Anyone who is turning 65 this year or who is already 65 should receive the Medicare and You 2018 book. Look for it in the mail. I received it this week. Do not throw it in the garbage. Look at it and save it. It is full of information, especially if you’ve just turned 65. There are 12 sections, which covers all you need to know.

Medicare comes in two parts, A and B. As soon as you turn 65 you have to enroll in Part A even though you are still working and are covered by insurance from your place of employment. There is no fee for part A but if you don’t join it before you are 65 there is a penalty. You don’t have to have part B until you retire and are no longer covered by your company. Part B is covered by your Social Security and is automatically deducted from your Social Security check.  For more information call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

On page 29 find out if Medicare covers your test, service, or item. Part A covers hospital insurance, helps cover inpatient care in a hospital, inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), hospice care, home health care, inpatient care in a religious nonmedical health care institution.

Am I an inpatient or outpatient? You or your family member should always ask this question each day during your stay, since it affects what you pay and can affect whether you qualify for Part A coverage in a skilled nursing facility.

Note: Original Medicare does not cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids.

This is just a sample of what is in the book. The other most important thing is you have to ask if your doctor takes Assignment, which means taking Medicare.

See you in two weeks, Chris