A chocolate cake that is celebrating a 50th birthday.
July 30, 2015 | by The Polyclinic

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law as part of the Social Security Act, giving Americans aged 65 and older access to healthcare services. In recognition of Harry Truman’s support of national health care during his presidency, the former president and his wife, Bess, were the first Americans to receive Medicare cards.

Today, more than 1 million people in Washington State receive health coverage through a Medicare program. There have been many changes to Medicare since its creation in 1965, including the addition of Medicare Supplement “Medigap” plans, Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Today there are more Medicare benefit options than ever before. But, you have to enroll first.

One of the biggest changes to Medicare has been the change in retirement age. Many Washingtonians are delaying receiving Social Security from 65 to 66 to receive full benefits. If you aren’t receiving Social Security, the government won’t automatically enroll you or notify you to enroll in Medicare. Missing the initial enrollment period (IEP) that runs three months prior and three months after your 65th birthday could jeopardize your coverage or impose a lifetime premium penalty.

Sound complicated? It can be. That’s why The Polyclinic offers resources to help understand plan options that work best for your health needs—whether you are turning 65 or seeking a plan change during open enrollment.

Sign up for our free “Polyclinic, Medicare and You” class

Our one hour classes help make Medicare easier to understand. You will learn how Medicare works, what it covers, eligibility and timeline requirements, and more about your coverage options, including our preferred Medicare Advantage plans.

Speak with a trained agent

The Polyclinic partners with Connexion Insurance Solutions to offer our patients access to a licensed agent who can help you understand your plan options based on your health, budget and coverage needs. Call 1-877-217-3279.