Other Ways To Contact Medicare
There are several ways to contact Medicare and receive information in a way you can understand and in an accessible form.
When you make a request, be sure to include your name, phone number, type of information you need and the mailing address where you want Medicare to send you the information.
All the Ways to Contact Medicare
In Which Statesis Medicaid Enrollment Automatic
The Social Security Administration handles Medicaid enrollmentfor the many states in which Medicaid eligibility is automatic for SSIrecipients. Your state will contact you with information after you receive yourSSI award letter from Social Security. These states are:
Note that SSI recipients in Indiana will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid starting on June 1, 2014. At that point, Indiana switches from being a 209 state to an automatic enrollment state.
Where Do I Go To Sign Up For Medicare
You can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B in person at a Social Security office near you.
You can also enroll online at www.ssa.gov., or you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 .
The Social Security Administration website features a Medicare section that allows you to perform a variety of tasks, including:
- Request a new Medicare cardNew Medicare cards were recently issued to all beneficiaries. You may request a replacement card if yours has been lost or stolen.
- Update your personal informationIf you moved to a new address or changed your name or telephone number, you may update your information online.
- Apply for MedicareYou may enroll in Medicare Part B online or sign up for Medicare Part A .
- Manage your benefitsUse the online portal to check on your applications and appeals, report your wages, check your earnings, set up direct deposit for your benefits payments and more.
The official U.S. government website for Medicare is Medicare.gov. Here you can do a number of things, including:
- Learn about your Medicare coverage options and when you can enroll
- Find out how to get prescription drug coverage
- Find ways to get help paying for Medicare
- File claims and appeals and check claim statuses
- Learn about your rights as a Medicare beneficiary
You may also create an account at MyMedicare.gov to monitor a claim status, view records and expenses and more.
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Can It Be A Good Idea To Delay Enrollment In Either Social Security Or Medicare
It often pays to delay Social Security past full retirement age, because in doing so, you get to accrue credits that boost your benefits by 8 percent a year up until age 70. Therefore, if you dont need the income from those benefits right away, you could conceivably sign up for Medicare at 65 and then wait another five years before filing for Social Security.
There are also scenarios where it might pay to get on Social Security before enrolling in Medicare. If, for example, youre still working and have access to a heavily or fully subsidized health plan through your job, you may not have a need for Medicare. On the other hand, you might want your Social Security benefits to supplement your income, pay for travel, or help put your grandkids through college.
Remember, health coverage under Medicare doesnt necessarily come cheap. Between premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance, you might find that your out-of-pocket costs are substantially lower under a group health plan, in which case it pays to stick with it as long as you can.
Medicare With Als Or Esrd
There are two exceptions to the 2-year waiting period. If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , also known as Lou Gehrigs Disease, youll be enrolled in coverage in the first month you receive SSDI.
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When Does Coverage Begin
Medicare eligibility after disability usually doesnt start right away. The date your Medicare coverage will start depends on your disability.
- For most qualifying disabilities, youll need to wait for two years to receive Medicare benefits. Your Medicare coverage begins after youve received SSDI for 24 months.
- If you have Lou Gehrigs Disease, also known as ALS, youll get coverage right away. Your Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage starts the first month you get your Social Security disability benefits.
- If you have end-stage renal disease , your Medicare coverage starts after three months of regular dialysis treatment.
Find a local Medicare plan that fits your needs
When Will My Medicare Begin
In most situations you can receive Medicare disability benefits once you receive Social Security disability income benefits for 24 months. Medicare disability coverage begins the 25th month. The 24-month period begins the month you are entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits. In some cases this could be earlier than the month you receive your first disability benefit check. A person who has ALS and is under age 65 can get Medicare benefits the first month he or she is entitled to SSDI or railroad retirement disability benefits. If you have ESRD , you are eligible for Medicare benefits:
- the first month you start to administer a regular course of dialysis treatment after receiving selfcare training, or
- the fourth month you receive treatment at a dialysis center , or
- the month the transplant is done or the month of hospitalization as an inpatient up to two months before the transplant, if pre-transplant testing has begun.
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Persons With Disabilities Should Be Able To Get Free Health Care
By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney
If Social Security grants you disability benefits, you will become eligible for health care through Medicare or Medicaid. Which program you will be eligible for, and when you’ll be enrolled in the health care program, depends on whether you are approved for Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
When You’re Eligible For Medicare
Older people who are U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents can qualify for traditional Medicare coverage as early as age 65.
You might also be eligible for Medicare if you are under age 65 and meet one of the following conditions:
- You are on dialysis or you’ve had a kidney transplant because of end-stage renal disease
- You have been entitled to Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months
- You have Lou Gehrig’s disease.
You are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A if you qualify for Medicare and you’ve received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for at least four months before you turn 65. You can then choose to enroll in other parts of the program or to delay enrollment.
If you are over 65 and do not meet any of the above criteria, you still may be eligible to purchase coverage through Medicare Part A. If you are unsure whether you are eligible, you can check using the Medicare Eligibility & Premium Calculator.
The work credit requirement is an algorithm used to determine how long a worker paid into the system.
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Is It Mandatory To Sign Up For Medicare After Age 65
No, it isnt mandatory to join Medicare. People can opt to sign up, or not.
If you don’t qualify for Social Security retirement benefits yet, you may need to manually enroll in Medicare at your local Social Security office, online or over the phone when you turn 65. You can also apply online for your Medicare coverage at www.medicare.gov.
Enrolling in Medicare as soon as youre eligible ensures you get the subsidized health care you deserve without waiting periods or financial penalties.
If you continue to work for a company employing 20 or more people after you turn 65, you could delay your Medicare enrollment. Your employee group plan provides enough medical coverage while youre working, meaning you may be able to wait to sign up for Medicare once you retire without incurring any late penalties.
How To Call Medicare
You can call Medicare any time, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-MEDICARE . TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
This is the main number for general information about Medicare. Customer service representatives can help with basic questions. But there are other numbers at Medicare or other federal and state agencies that can help with more specific questions or issues.
Other Helpful Numbers
- Changing Your Address
- 1-800-772-1213: If you change your address linked to your Medicare account, you should notify the Social Security Administration.
- Report a Lost or Stolen Medicare Card
- 1-800-772-1213: You should notify the Social Security Administration immediately if your Medicare card has been lost or your ID number has been stolen.
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- 1-800-772-1213: If you are a veteran, the VA can provide information about how Medicare can work with your VA benefits.
- State Health Insurance Assistance Program
- 1-800-701-0501: The SHIP program in your state provides counseling services to help you choose the right Medicare plan and health insurance tailored to your needs and finances. The national hotline can set you up with the program in your state.
You can also use Medicares Helpful Contacts locator to look up contact information for dozens of state and federal agencies along with other organizations in your state.
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Ssdi And Other Disability Benefit Programs
Many people who are on SSDI benefits are also eligible for other disability benefits programs like Medicare or Medi-Cal. Its important to understand how these different programs interact as benefits from one program may impact eligibility for another program.
If you have questions about how programs interact with each other, talk to a benefits planner. You can also use the DB101 Benefits and Work Estimator for estimates on how working may impact your SSDI benefits and other benefits.
When Should I Not Call 1
Do not call 1-800-MEDICARE if you have specific questions about your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. Because these policies are administered by private insurers, you must contact your plan insurer directly . This includes questions on plan premiums, deductibles, claims status, and other issues that are plan-specific.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE for general Medicare questions not mentioned in this article.
Jesse Migneault is a journalist and editor who has written about business, government and healthcare including public and private-payer health insurance. His articles have appeared in HealthPayerIntelligence, the Hartford Courant, Portsmouth Herald, Seacoastonline.com, Fosters Daily Democrat, and York County Coast Star.
In addition, his work has been cited by health industry stakeholders such as the Eugene S. Farley Health Policy Center, Association of Healthcare Journalists, American Academy of Actuaries, Kaiser Permanente, blueEHR, San Diego Law Review, Medicare Agent News, healthjournalism.org, and Concierge Medicine among others.
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How Can I Contact Medicare And Social Security Offices
The Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are both federal agencies in the United States. Social Security is responsible for retirement and disability benefits and Medicare is responsible for health care for Medicare recipients who are 65 and older or are under 65 with qualifying disabilities.
While both of these agencies are separate, they both work together in many different ways. This means you may not always know which agency to contact for which services.
This article gives you important information about when and how you should contact Social Security, and when and how you should contact Medicare.
Reasons to Contact Social SecurityYou should contact the SSA if you need help with any of the following services:
To check on your eligibility for Medicare benefits.
To create an account called my Social Security so you can go online to verify your earnings, to get an estimate of your future benefits, or to manage your monthly benefits.
To get the status of a claim.
To get a replacement for your Medicare card.
To report personal changes like your address, name, or phone numbers.
To sign up for Original Medicare Parts A or B.
To get an SSA-1020 application form, or to apply directly over the phone for the Extra Help program for your Medicare prescription drug plan.
To get the address of your local Social Security office.
To report a death.
How to Contact the Social Security Administration
When You’re Eligible For Social Security
Today, older adults become eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits at age 66 or 67 depending on their birth year and whether they or their spouse have met the work credit requirement.
For anyone born in 1929 or later, the minimum work credit requirement for Social Security benefits is 40 credits or 10 years of work. The year you can start taking full Social Security benefits is known as your full retirement age or normal retirement age. If you were born on January 1 of any year, refer to the previous year when calculating your full retirement age.
|Age for Receiving Full Social Security Benefits|
|1960 and later||67|
Unlike Medicare, older people can opt to start taking their benefits before their full retirement age. The earliest you can begin taking Social Security benefits is age 62. However, if you begin taking Social Security payments before your full retirement age, you will receive a reduced monthly benefit for the remainder of your life.
If you are a widow or widower, you can start claiming your spouse’s reduced Social Security benefits when you are age 60, or 50 if you are disabled. You can then switch to taking your own full benefit at your full retirement age.
You can also choose to delay your Social Security benefit past full retirement age until age 70. This will often make you eligible for delayed retirement credits, which increase your monthly benefit for the remainder of your life.
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Can I Apply For Medicare If I Am Already Receiving Disability
A serious concern for those who have been approved for Social Security Disability benefits is medical coverage. Often, people lose their major medical coverage after they have been unable to work for an extended period of time. While COBRA does allow many workers to continue their coverage, many cannot afford to pay the full insurance premiums.
If your Social Security Disability claim has been accepted, whether you receive SSDI or only SSI, you will qualify for Medicare after you have been eligible for Social Security Disability benefits for 24 months. You will be advised when your period of eligibility is approaching regarding how you should apply for Medicare.
All Social Security Disability beneficiaries are eligible for Part A of Medicare and are required to enroll, even if you have other insurance coverage. Medicare Part A is provided at no cost for qualifying recipients. Failure to enroll in Medicare Part A when it is offered to you can result in you having to pay back Social Security Disability benefits, therefore making it necessary to sign up. In other words, while you are eligible to enroll in Medicare after 2 years, you are also required to.
If you do have other major medical coverage, Medicare will be your secondary insurer. Basically, this means that your primary insurance will pay what they would normally pay while Medicare covers any existing gaps in your coverage.
When Do I Get Medicare Benefits
If you enroll in Medicare based on age, you must be 65 years old. You can not enroll early like you can with Social Security. However, people who have certain disabilities may be eligible to apply for Medicare early.
If you opt to get your Social Security early, you still will not be eligible for Medicare until you turn 65 years old.
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Am I Eligible For Medicare If I Get Disability Benefits
When an individual is unable to work due to a disabling condition, their income is not the only thing that disappears their medical insurance disappears as well. This is why so many disability applicants wonder whether or not they will be eligible to receive Medicare benefits and social security. So are Social Security Disability recipients able to receive Medicare benefits to help cover medical expenses? The answer is yes, but not right away.
How Do I Enroll In Medicare
Automatic Enrollment Period
A person receiving SSDI for the required time period is automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B . Beneficiaries should receive a Medicare card in the mail a few months before they become eligible. This will notify beneficiaries of their automatic enrollment in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. If you do not receive this card, you should contact the Social Security office as you approach Medicare eligibility. Medicare Part A is usually premium-free for everyone. If you have worked fewer than 40 quarters, the premium is based on the number of quarters worked. For Medicare Part B there is a monthly premium which is usually deducted from your Social Security check. The monthly Part B premium can change annually. A person has the option to turn down Medicare Part B. If you are a beneficiary or your spouse is actively working for an employer that is providing an employer group health plan , you may be able to continue the EGHP coverage if you or your spouses employer has 100 or more employees. In this situation you will be able to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B. If you are going to delay your enrollment in Medicare Part B, you should meet with a Social Security representative or call 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 .
For more details and further information, please call SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.
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