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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • July 2018
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“What do I need to know about Medicare?”

“What do I need to know about Medicare?” is a common question we get from 64 year olds who need to decide when to enroll in Medicare and choose a new health insurance plan.

It’s a great question because Medicare health insurance has many options to choose from, along with many rules and regulations to follow. Another consideration is working past age 65. In some cases, it makes sense not to enroll in Medicare until you or your spouse stop working. Each individual can face a different decision on when to enroll into Medicare.

At age 64 ½ people get many letters in the mail with solicitations about making a decision on Medicare. This can be very confusing and overwhelming as it is impossible to get all the information needed from a mailing.

Turning 65 is somewhat like turning 16 when you have the ability to apply for your driver’s license, except without the mandatory classroom education and driver permit process at age 15. Just as driver education is needed at age 15, Medicare education is needed at age 64.

As one person who had to pay a monthly late enrollment penalty said, “Why didn’t someone tell me I had to enroll when I stopped working?” It is a good example of how everyone approaching 65 should seek expert help to understand how Medicare works and avoid unwanted surprises and costs.

In 2019, the popular Medicare Cost plans are going away in many counties across the United States due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. Beginning in October, about 400,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Minnesota with Cost plans will need to choose between a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan to replace their Cost plan for 2019.

More changes will happen in the future in regard to cost, coverage and enrollment periods, so it is important to have a basic understanding about how Medicare works and access to expert help to learn about changes in Medicare.

To meet the need for Medicare education, Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness is launching a free Medicare workshop to address the question, “What do I need to know about Medicare?” For more information, go to

John Ulness

John Ulness is co-owner of Ulness Health Insurance & Wellness in Appleton. He helps people in Wisconsin understand their health insurance options to control costs and enroll. He can be reached at 1-800-386-0876 or [email protected]

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