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Plus, when you use us to apply, you get unlimited support from our Client Service Team. That means if you have any issues with claims or appeals, we can help at no additional cost. You can compare rates online or give us a call today at the number above.
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What Are The Two Enrollment Methods
If youre already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you dont need to enroll in Medicare. Youll automatically get Original Medicare as of the first day of the month you turn 65.
Those who are automatically enrolled will receive a Welcome to Medicare packet, which will include your Medicare card, three months before turning 65.
If you want a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy.
If you decide you dont want Part B, you must return the Medicare card. If you keep the card, you keep Part B coverage and you will be charged the monthly premium.
Note that if you live in Puerto Rico, you will only receive Medicare Part A automatically. You need to call Social Security at 772-1213 or TTY 325-0778 to apply for Part B if you want it.
You will not get Medicare automatically if you are not already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, even if youre close to age 65. You need to apply for Part A and Part B if you want them using one of the methods mentioned here, even if youre eligible for premium-free Part A.
The government expects you to know when to enroll. Be sure to apply for Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period unless you have current employment-based insurance coverage elsewhere. If you dont apply and sign up later, you will have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty for as long as youre enrolled in Part B.
When To Apply For Medicare: Whats The Initial Enrollment Period
For most people, the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period is a seven-month period. It starts three months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and goes three more months after that. So if your 65th birthday is in November, your IEP runs from August through February.
Your IEP is different if youre not yet 65, but you qualify for Medicare by disability. For example, you might be automatically enrolled during your 25th month in a row of receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Learn how enrollment works if youre under 65 but eligible for Medicare through disability.
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When Do I Have To Sign Up For Medicare
If youre collecting Social Security, youll automatically be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. If youre not receiving Social Security, then youll want to sign up manually during your Initial Enrollment Period.
Three months before your 65th birthday, your Initial Enrollment Period window will start. Your IEP is a once-in-a-lifetime enrollment window that you dont want to miss.
If you do happen to miss it, youll have another opportunity to enroll during another enrollment period. However, you could get a penalty for not signing up when you first become eligible. The only way around the penalty is if you have creditable coverage.
Sign Up: Within 8 Months After You Or Your Spouse Stop Working
- Most people dont have to pay a premium for Part A . So, you may want to sign up for Part A when you turn 65, even if you or your spouse are still working.
- Youll pay a monthly premium for Part B , so you may want to wait to sign up for Part B.
Avoid the penalty & gap in coverageIf you miss this 8-month Special Enrollment Period, youll have to wait to sign up and go months without coverage. You might also pay a monthly penalty for as long as you have Part B. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?
Read Also: How Is Part B Medicare Premium Determined
When Do I Sign Up For Medicare Advantage
Before you sign up for Medicare Advantage, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplements. If you choose to sign up for Medicare Advantage, you can do so during your IEP.
If you missed your IEP, you can join during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. For those currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you also have another opportunity to make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
Monthly Medicare Premiums For 2021
The standard Part B premium for 2021 is $148.50. If youre single and filed an individual tax return, or married and filed a joint tax return, the following chart applies to you:
|Modified Adjusted Gross Income||Part B monthly premium amount||Prescription drug coverage monthly premium amount|
|Individuals with a MAGI of less than or equal to $88,000 Married couples with a MAGI of $176,000 or less||2021 standard premium = $148.50|
|Your plan premium + $77.10|
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When Is The Earliest You Can Sign Up
Youre first eligible for Medicare starting three months before you turn 65. That kicks off whats known as your Initial Enrollment Period.
The Initial Enrollment Period covers seven months: the three months before your 65th birth month, the month of your 65th birthday and the three months following your 65th birth month. For example, lets say your birthday is sometime in May. The three months before are February, March and April, and the three months following are June, July and August.
Keep in mind that the date you apply for Medicare will affect the start date of your coverage. To receive Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B beginning the first day of the month you turn 65, you must sign up during the three months before your 65th birth month. If you wait to sign up during your birth month or the next three months, your start date will be delayed by one, two or three months.
If your birthday is on the first day of your birth month, Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month. So, if, say, your birthday is September 1, your benefits will begin on August 1.
When Is The Medicare Advantage Plan Annual Election Period
You can also add, drop, or change your Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election Period , which occurs from October 15 to December 7 of every year. During this period, you may:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, and vice versa.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different one.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescription drugs, and vice versa.
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When Do You Apply For Original Medicare
You might not even have to apply for Original Medicare, which includes Part A and Part B . Many people are enrolled automatically. That applies to you if youre already getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65.
But even if youre automatically enrolled in traditional Medicare, you do have to take action if you want other Medicare coverage. For example, say you want to buy a Medicare Supplement insurance plan. The government doesnt enroll you. You need to do that if thats what you want. Well get into this more later on.
When Do I Get My Medicare Card
In most circumstances, youll get a Medicare I.D. card several weeks after your initial application. However, waiting times can be up to 90 days. If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare because you already get Social Security benefits, you will receive your I.D. card two months before turning 65.
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Ial Medicare Part B Premium Reimbursement
Service retirement and disability benefit recipients who are enrolled in an STRS Ohio medical plan and provide proof of Medicare Part B enrollment may receive partial reimbursement to offset the standard monthly premium charged by Medicare for Part B coverage.
Partial reimbursement of the benefit recipient’s future standard Medicare Part B premium cost will begin after STRS Ohio receives proof of Medicare Part B enrollment. If STRS Ohio receives proof by the 15th of the month, partial reimbursement will begin the first of the following month. If verification is received after the 15th of the month, partial premium reimbursement will begin the first day of the second following month. Partial reimbursement is not applied retroactively based on your Medicare effective date. You will receive reimbursement for future monthly premiums only after you submit proof of Medicare Part B coverage.
If you are eligible to receive a Medicare Part B premium reimbursement through more than one Ohio public retirement system, specific guidelines apply. Its your responsibility to contact STRS Ohio to determine which system is responsible for providing your reimbursement you may not receive more than one Part B premium reimbursement. Please call STRS Ohio for Medicare Part B premium reimbursement guidelines.
Documents You Need To Apply For Medicare
To begin the application process, youll need to ensure you have the following documentation to prove identity:
- A copy of your birth certificate
- Your drivers license or state I.D. card
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of legal residency
You may need additional documents as well. Make sure to have on hand:
- Your Social Security card
- W-2 forms if still active in employment
- Military discharge documents if you previously served in the U.S. military before 1968
- Information about current health insurance types and coverage dates
If you are already enrolled in Part A and have chosen to delay enrollment in Part B, you will need to complete additional forms .
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Do I Need Medicare Part B
We always advise our clients to contact their employer or union benefits administrator before delaying Part A and Part B to learn more about how their insurance works with Medicare. Employer coverage may require that you enroll in both Part A and Part B to receive full coverage.
Common reasons beneficiaries delay Part B include:
Signing Up For A Medicare Part D Plan
Medicare Part D drug coverage is optional and available to anyone with Medicare Part A and Part B.
Two Ways to Get Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
In both cases, you must already be enrolled in Original Medicare.
You can explore and compare available Part D plans on the Medicare website.
You can also call your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program for free help.
Once you find a plan that meets your needs, there are a few ways to sign up.
Four Ways to Sign Up for a Part D Drug Plan
To sign up for a Medicare Part D plan, you will need your Medicare number and the date your Part A and Part B coverage started. You can find this information on your Medicare card or on MyMedicare.gov.
Other Information You Need to Provide
- Your primary mailing address
- Whether you had or have other drug coverage
- How you want to pay your premiums
Coverage usually begins the first day of the month after enrollment.
If you switch plans during the open enrollment period , your new coverage will start Jan. 1.
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What Other Times Can You Sign Up
You may also become eligible for Medicare for other reasons. If youre eligible due to a disability, you qualify after youve received Social Security disability or certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
What If I Cant Get Copies
You should submit your application even if you dont have copies of some of these documents. Social Security might be able to help you track them down.
In fact, Social Security can often request copies and verification from your states Bureau of Vital Statistics. If not, it can help you get the forms you need in order to get the documents yourself.
The way you enroll in Medicare depends on which parts of Medicare you choose. There are different methods for enrolling in original Medicare as opposed to Medicare Advantage , Medigap, and Part D plans.
How To Enroll In A Medicare Part D Plan
When Is My Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
For most people, enrolling in Medicare Part A is automatic. However, there are several instances where you may have to manually enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period , the seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month of your 65th birthday, and ends three months later.
Some situations where you would enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment include:
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Extra Fees For Late Enrollments And Higher Incomes
Medicare charges late enrollment penalties if you delay enrollment in Medicare Part B or go 63 days or more without Medicare Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. This additional cost will be charged as long as you have Medicare coverage. Also, Medicare Part B and Part D enrollees with higher annual incomes are subject to monthly Medicare surcharges. Surcharges vary by income levels set by Medicare. Failure to pay surcharges will result in cancellation of your STRS Ohio medical coverage. Visit www.ssa.gov for more information.
When To Enroll In Medicare
Initial Enrollment Period
You have a seven-month initial enrollment period in which to sign up for Medicare. This period begins three months before you turn age 65, includes the month you turn age 65 and ends three months after the month of your birthday.
For coverage to be effective the month you turn age 65, you must sign up during the first three months of the initial enrollment period . If you wait to sign up during the last four months of the period, your effective date of coverage under Medicare will be delayed.
Begins three months before and ends three months after the month you turn age 65Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare
|You will have NO DELAY in coverage if you enroll:|
|Three months before you turn 65||Two months before you turn 65||One month before you turn 65|
|Coverage begins the month you turn 65|
|You will have a DELAY in coverage if you enroll:|
|The month you turn 65||One month after you turn 65||Two months after you turn 65||Three months after you turn 65|
|Coverage begins one month after the month you enroll||Coverage begins two months after the month you enroll||Coverage begins three months after the month you enroll||Coverage begins three months after the month you enroll|
General Enrollment Period
If you miss the initial enrollment period, you can enroll during a general enrollment period from Jan. 1 through March 31 each year. However, Medicare coverage is not effective until July 1 and a lifetime Medicare late enrollment penalty will apply.
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Applying For Medicare Online
Applying for Medicare online is a quick and easy process on the Social Security website, taking approximately ten minutes. After you have applied for Medicare online, you can check the status of your application and/or appeal, request a replacement card, and print a benefit verification letter.
Once you apply for Part B, give us a call so we can help you choose a supplement plan to cover what Medicare doesnt.
If youre not comfortable applying for Medicare online, you can do so over the phone.