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2019-5-22

Sign up for Medicare and Estimate Medicare Costs

By Jacqueline Weisgarber, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Richmond, Virginia

Affordable medical coverage is something everyone wants, especially as people age. Luckily, our nation has safeguards for workers as they get older. Millions of people rely on Medicare, and it can be part of your health insurance plan when you retire.

Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, as well as younger people who have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, and people with certain specific diseases. Two parts of Medicare are Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medicare Insurance). You are eligible for premium-free Part A if you are age 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.  Part B usually requires a monthly premium payment.

You can apply online for Medicare even if you are not ready to retire. Use our online application to sign up. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail.

You can sign up for Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/medicare.

If you don't sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment window that begins three months before the birthday that you reach age 65 and ends three months after that birthday, you'll face a 10 percent increase in your Part B premiums for every year-long period you're eligible for coverage but don't enroll. You may not have to pay the penalty if you qualify fora special enrollment period (SEP).If you are 65 or older and covered under a group health plan, either from your own or your spouse’s current employment, you may have a special enrollment period during which you can sign up for Medicare Part B. This means that you may delay enrolling in Part B without having to wait for a general enrollment period and without paying the lifetime penalty for late enrollment. Additional rules and limits apply, so if you think a special enrollment period may apply to you, read our Medicare publication at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/, and visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at Medicare.gov for more information.

Health and drug costs not covered by Medicare can have a big impact on how much you spend each year. You can also estimate Medicare costs using an online tool at https://www.medicare.gov/oopc/.

Keeping your healthcare costs down allows you to use your retirement income on other things that you can enjoy. Social Security is here to help you plan a long and happy retirement at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Golfers Help Jackson Feild’s Children

The winning team L-R: Mike Ellis, Thomas Dodson, Monte Todd, and Dennis Balch.

Larry Pair, Director of Plant Operations at JFBHS

L-R:  Donte Threatt, Elvin Edmonds, and Ronnell Pearson

On May 6, 2019, Jackson-Feild Behavioral Health Services (JFBHS) was pleased to host the 24th annual Go Golfing for the Kids tournament at The Golf Club at The Highlands.  Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward purchasing molded, high-impact, fire-retardant polyethylene bedroom furniture for our cottages.  According to the manufacturer, the furniture is “solid as a rock, yet features seamless construction with rounded corners for added safety and security. Each piece can be easily sanitized.”

Following a lunch provided by Hardees, nineteen teams from all over Virginia and parts of North Carolina enjoyed a beautiful day on the links.  Following play, the golfers returned to The Reserve at the Highlands to enjoy the awards dinner and find out who won the various raffle prizes donated by a number of restaurants, museums, jewelry stores, and more.  In addition, having the highest bid meant that one golfer took home a gas smoker donated by Parker Oil, and another took home the prize of a week-long vacation at Kill Devil Hills donated by a former JFBHS director of education.

Without the support of a number of sponsors, this tournament would not have been possible.  JFBHS is tremendously grateful to tournament sponsor Boddie-Noell Enterprises, presenting sponsor Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, and awards dinner sponsor Jones LTC Pharmacy. Additional sponsors were Old Point Trust, Virginia South Psychiatric & Family Services, ITA International, WellsColeman, Kim & Steve Winston, Tod Balsbaugh, Partlow Insurance Agency, Inc., Parker Oil & Propane, Boyd Chevrolet, Diamond Springs, Wilson Clary & Associates, Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, The Wilton Companies, Commonwealth Exterminators, Eric Thompson & Family, and Old Dominion Landscapes, LLC.

Planning has already begun for the 25th anniversary tournament to be held in May 2020, and all are invited to sign up to play.  More details will be available at a later date.

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