On January 1, 2011, the first “official” baby boomers will turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare benefits. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov), it is estimated that there are 78.2 million baby boomers with about 7,918 people turning 65 each day. That translates to about 330 each hour for the next 18 years. In California the the Baby Boomers will represent 25 percent of California’s population www.aging.ca.gov.
The first of the baby boomers are already being bombarded with information about Medicare and Medigap through televised and print ads, presentations, e-mails and phone calls. Adventuresome boomers could go the the official government website www.medi care.gov, ,and read the 123 pages of detailed government speak or they might try a new approach. A group of early baby boomers from the region started to examine their options and found a lot of information that was often confusing and overwhelming. These “early baby boomers” have researched and simplified information about Medicare, Medigap and other life questions into a brief and easy to follow free web site www.ababyboomersguide.com.
“Since we had difficult experiences with the Medicare information, we thought it might be helpful to to share our discoveries and recommendations in a format that was brief and succinct. So, let’s hear it for brevity!” says Jean Ramsay, project leader of the Early Baby Boomers.
The ABabyBoomersGuide.com Website, uses humor to help people grasp the basics of Medicare. This Website could be called the “Completely Abridged Guide to Understanding Medicare” because it simplifies Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, Medigap Supplemental Plans, and Part D the Prescription Plan with that crazy donut hole.
“It is vital for each person to determine what the bottom line will be for themselves. Because of all the hype from various sources, it it is easy to be confused or mislead. Often, in presentations held in hotel meeting rooms, a company presenter will correctly tell potential clients that there is no monthly premium. While this is true they do not mention that by the end of the year, the co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses could add up to thousands of dollars or more. A very unwelcome surprise” said Jean Ramsay.
Ramsay continues, “When you grasp the basic framework of Medicare Insurance, you will be better able to have a place to put all the details of your particular situation. Then you can make better informed medical and financial choices.”
Medicare is health Insurance for people 65 and older, as well as some under 65 with certain disabilities. You can sign up for Medicare and your Medigap Supplemental plan while you are 64, and coverage will begin the first of the month of your 65th birthday. It is good to get your Medicare coverage in place so there is no gap with your current policy. During the open enrollment period at 65 (you can sign up for Medicare Insurance six months before and up to six months after 65), you can not be turned down due to pre-existing conditions, but if you want to switch policies later, you will have to go through an underwriting process and could be turned down. Ramsay adds, “If you are over 65 and have had continuing credible coverage, don’t despair. You are still qualified.”
This affiliation of baby boomers also offers their research criteria, recommendations, and believes that this easy to follow guide will help their fellow California boomers make informed decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.
Mirror Contributing Writerstaff@smmirror.com