Q: I didn't enroll in Medicare Part B back when my Part A started a few years ago. Can I enroll now?
A: Yes - but if you want to do it this year, you'll have to act soon. The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B, medical insurance, began January 1 and runs through March 31. Keep in mind that although there is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A, there will be a premium for your Medicare Part B. And in most cases, that premium goes up each 12-month period you were eligible for it and elected not to enroll. To find out more about Medicare, visit www.medicare.gov or www.socialsecurity.gov and select the "Medicare" link.
Q: Will my Medicare coverage change because of the Affordable Care Act?
A: No, not at all. People who have Medicare coverage are not affected by the Affordable Care Act. Medicare is not a part of the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, your Medicare benefits are not changing. You do not need to replace your Medicare coverage with Marketplace coverage. For more information about the Marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov. For more information about Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, visit www.medicare.gov. Or read our publication on Medicare at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
(This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213. For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov. )