Enrollment in Medicare
Are you getting close to your 65th birthday? Perhaps you have been disabled for 2 years or 24 months. It appears that you might qualify for Medicare. So what now? Don’t worry, we can walk you through the process.
In our opinion, here are the best ways and least problematic to enroll:
- You can enroll in Medicare by logging onto the official Social Security website www.SSA.gov
- You can submit your Medicare enrollment application by contacting the Social Security Administration Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM at 1-800-772-1213.
- You can also apply for Medicare in person at any local Social Security Administration office.
- If you were an employee of a railroad company, you can enroll in Medicare by contacting the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)using their toll-free number 1-877-772-5772. The RRB is available to take calls from Monday through Friday between 9 AM to 3:30 PM.
Most of the population is required to sign up for Medicare when they are about to turn 65, or sometime thereafter. If you are wondering when to apply for Medicare, you can sign up as early as three months before you turn 65 years old. This initial enrollment period extends over a seven month period and includes:
- 3 months before your birthday
- The month of your birthday.
- 3 months after your birthday has passed.
The start date of your Part B Medicare coverage will depend on a number of factors, but you can ask your Medicare representative when you apply for Medicare. If you do not wish to apply for your Social Security benefits yet, you can apply for Medicare by going to the Social Security Administration website.
The AEP or Open Enrollment Period occurs every year from October 15th until December 7th. During this 54 day period, Medicare recipients can make changes to their plan or policy without having any penalties put upon them.
Here are some of the options available to current recipients of Medicare:
- Any person who has both Medicare Part A and Part B is able to switch to a Part C plan, or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Any person who has Medicare Part C is able to leave their plan to switch back to a Medicare Part A and Part B plan.
- Anyone who currently has, or who is currently signing up for Medicare Parts A or B can join, drop, or switch a Part D plan.
- Anyone who has a Medicare Part C plan is able to switch to a new Part C plan.
Here are the primary changes to make during Medicare Open Enrollment:
- Switch from a stand-alone Part D Medicare plan to another.
- Switch from one type of Medicare Advantage plan to another plan.
- Change from traditional Medicare Parts A and B to a Medicare Part C plan.
- Change from a Part C plan to a traditional Medicare policy.
- Enroll in a Part D plan if they are changing from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare.
- Enroll in a Part D plan if they previously opted out of this type of coverage.
The changes made to any Medicare plan will take effect in January of the following calendar year.
Important Note About Applying for Medicare
Most of eligible Americans enrolling in Medicare Part A will happen automatically. However, you can find a number of reasons you might be expected to enroll in Medicare Part A and B on your own. This enrollment should take place during the initial enrollment period of yours, which was outlined above. Nevertheless, to stay away from penalties, you are going to need to know when to turn in your Medicare enrollment. Here’s when you will have to manually enroll in Medicare.
First, If you’re not currently receiving retirement benefits, but you’re close to turning sixty-five years old, you are able to enroll in Medicare Part A and B during the Initial Enrollment Period. Should you choose to wait beyond 65 to apply for Social Security Benefits, you can still apply for Medicare alone and apply for the Social Security Benefits at a later date.
Secondly, If you don’t qualify for Social Security Retirement Benefits, you won’t be enrolled in Medicare automatically. You also might not qualify for a Medicare policy which is Part A premium free. The amount of your Medicare premium is going to depend on just how long you paid into the Medicare system, and whether or perhaps your spouse paid into the program long enough to enable you to qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A.
Third, this is critical and you will be notified if this occurs, If the insurance company that you’ve been receiving your Medicare Part C insurance through won’t be contracting with Medicare the following year. You are going to need to switch providers during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, or perhaps the Annual Enrollment Period.
What is needed to Apply for Medicare?
- Date and place of birth
- Social Security Number
- Name, date of birth, and social security number of any former spouse.
- Date of divorce, death, and place of death of any previous spouse.
- Names of any unmarried children under the age of 18.
- Names of any children between the ages of 18 and 19 who are in secondary school.
- Names of any children who were disabled before the age of 22.
- The Routing Transit Number for your bank, and your Bank account number are in the form required for direct deposit.
- Information concerning your citizenship.
- Any information about previous attempts to file for Social Security Benefits, Medicare, or Social Security Income.
- You will also be asked to provide information about whose Social Security record you applied under.
- A determination of whether you plan to apply for Part B.
This information will not be required if you are making a plan change during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. The most important factor is that you follow the guidelines of when to apply for Medicare and that you use the appropriate method of Medicare enrollment.