How to Prepare for Medicare

Enrolling in Medicare is a wonderful milestone to reach in one’s life. Think about it: you’ve been contributing to Medicare your whole life, and now it’s time to let Medicare work for you. It’s a very exciting time. But you’re probably wondering if there is something that you need to do. The answer is “Yes”.

Around three months prior to your 65th birthday you will receive a package in the mail from the Social Security office. You will be given the option to turn down Medicare Part B.  However, we do not suggest turning it down unless you have creditable health coverage through another source like a previous or current employer.

One misconception is that once you are on Medicare, your health is fully covered. But, original Medicare is not designed to cover all your Medical bills.  Medicare Part C (aka a Medicare Advantage plan) adds to your Original Medicare plan often at little to no extra cost to you.  Medicare Advantage plans are designed to cover additional benefits that original Medicare does not cover while also reducing your out-of-pocket costs. Remember, you cannot enroll in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans like Viva Medicare) if you don’t have Medicare Part B coverage.

For more questions about how to prepare for Medicare, stop by a Viva Medicare Cafe in Birmingham, Hoover, Montgomery, or Mobile. Café addresses and contact information can be found on You can also stop by the Viva Health Welcome Center in downtown Birmingham at 417 20th Street North.