Medicare planning can be a challenge. Some people mistakenly assume that you do not need to start figuring out what you are going to do until about a month before your 65th birthday. If you put it off that long, you are asking for a very stressful month. There are several factors that can determine when you should begin your medicare planning process. These include but are not limited to:

An Older/Younger Spouse

If your spouse is a few years older or younger than you, you will not hit the magical Medicare age of 65 in the same year. This can be challenging if one of you is the breadwinner in your home, and medical insurance comes through their employment. Once one of you signs up for Medicare, the other may lose their insurance coverage. You can see how this would be a problem. It is crucial for couples to think through these problems and plan their medical insurance coverage in order to avoid lapses. 

Your Employment Plans

Most people cannot wait for the day when they are old enough to retire. However, not everyone falls in that category. Imagine that you are over the age of 65, you enjoy your work, and want to keep at it for another few years. When will your Medicare go into effect? Since you are not working you do not need to worry about it, right? Wrong. Since Medicare Part A is free if you have worked at least 10 years, you will be automatically enrolled on your 65th birthday if you qualify. If you do not qualify, you must sign up as soon as you do not have medical insurance through your employment. You can sign up for Medicare while you are working, though for most people it will be cheaper to get insurance through your employer. Sign up for Part B as soon as you retire. 

Your Medical Needs

If you have a lot of medical needs, you may want to start planning way ahead of time. Think about it, you will need to make sure that all of your doctors accept your plan, any operations you need will be covered, and that all of your medications are on the correct formula. 

In conclusion, it is important to plan ahead when someone in your family is getting near the age of 65. Most professionals recommend you give yourself about a year to figure out exactly what you are going to do with Medicare.