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First things first: You may want to start preparing by getting familiar with the program and researching the different plans available. There's Original Medicare (Parts A and B), which covers hospital care, doctors visits and some medical supplies. You may still be responsible for deductibles, copayments, and prescription drugs. For that reason, you may choose to add a Medicare SupplementSM plan and Part D (MedicareBlueSM Rx (PDP)) to help reduce out-of-pocket costs. 

The checklist and information in this section offer more important considerations as you plan. 

Prepare for Medicare with a Checklist

Before you turn 65, put these four items on your to-do list:

Review your legal needs

Choose someone to make decisions about treatment options if there comes a time when you cannot make them on your own.

Get a clear picture of your finances

Make a list of your income sources such as Social Security and pensions, monthly and yearly income and expenses, savings, and investments. You may need them to cover expenses not covered by Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments and nursing home care.

Gather your files, notes and records

Keep records of doctors, medications, your medical history, and a calendar of recurring and special follow-up medical appointments. Share this information with people you trust to provide help.

Make a plan for preventive care

Know how to take advantage of Medicare-covered preventive tests, flu shots, bone mass measurements, glaucoma tests and other screenings.

Budget for Your Expenses and Out-of-Pocket Costs

Each year the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the governing body of Parts A and B, update what Medicare will and won’t cover. Shared costs — like deductibles and copays — can change, so it’s important to budget with that in mind. Consider the benefits offered by MedicareBlue Supplement and MedicareBlue Rx to cover these changing costs.

Review Caregiver Resource Kit

If someone helps you with things like going to the store or pharmacy, driving you to doctor appointments or managing your daily health needs—they’re a caregiver. Medicare can help them help you with a valuable Caregiver Resource Kit that explains everything from managing Medicare expenses to addressing specific health conditions. You can get the Caregiver Resource Kit at medicare.govExternal Site