How To Enroll In Medicare Online
To be clear, you dont have to sign up for Medicare online. You can do so over the phone or in person, but if youre looking to save time, completing an online application is probably the best way to go.
The first step in enrolling in Medicare online is creating an account on the Social Security Administrations web site. You do not need to sign up for Social Security at the same time as Medicare, so if thats not your plan, worry not. Youll be asked whether you wish to enroll in one program or both during the signup process.
Next, youll need to provide some basic information like your name, address, and telephone number, and youll also need your Social Security number to complete your application. In addition, youll need information that helps identify you, such as your birth certificate, drivers license, or proof of U.S. citizenship if you werent born in the U.S. If youre not a citizen, youll need your permanent resident card number.
Medicare Special Enrollment Period
You may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible because you are already covered by group medical insurance through an employer or union. If you lose your group insurance, or if you decide you want to switch from your group coverage to Medicare, you can sign up at any time that you are still covered by the group plan or during a Special Enrollment Period.
Your eight-month special enrollment period begins either the month that your employment ends or when your group health coverage ends, whichever occurs first. If you enroll during an SEP, you generally do not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
The Special Enrollment Period does not apply if youre eligible for Medicare because you have ESRD. Please also keep in mind that COBRA and retiree health coverage are not considered current employer coverage and would not qualify you for a special enrollment period.
What Is The Medicare Advantage Plan Initial Coverage Election Period:
Most beneficiaries are first eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Initial Coverage Election Period. Unless you delay Medicare Part B enrollment, this enrollment period takes place at the same time as your Initial Enrollment Period , starting three months before you have both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B and ending on whichever of the following dates falls later:
- The last day of the month before you have both Medicare Part A and Part B, or
- The last day of your Medicare Part B Initial Enrollment Period.
If youre under 65 and eligible for Medicare due to disability, your IEP will vary depending on when your disability benefits started.
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When Do You Use This Application
Use this form:
- If youre in your Initial Enrollment Period and live in Puerto Rico. You must sign up for Part B using this form.
- If youre in your IEP and refused Part B or did not sign up when you applied for Medicare, but now want Part B.
- If you want to sign up for Part B during the General Enrollment Period from January 1 March 31 each year.
- If you refused Part B during your IEP because you had group health plan coverage through your or your spouses current employment. You may sign up during your 8-month Special Enrollment Period .
- If you have Medicare due to disability and refused Part B during your IEP because you had group health plan coverage through your, your spouse or family memberscurrent employment.
- You may sign up during your 8-month SEP.
NOTE: Your IEP lasts for 7 months. It begins 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after you reach 65 .
How To Get A Medicare Part B Give Back Plan
To get a Part B premium reduction plan, you must be enrolled in Part A and Part B. You must also not be accepting government assistance that pays part of the Part B premium already. But, if you dont qualify for a give-back plan, there are plenty of plan options on the market.
Its important to compare Medicare Advantage & Medigap before enrolling in either option. Many beneficiaries are unaware of the many limitations that come with Advantage plans. A Part B reduction may not be worth the additional cost-sharing.
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The Process To Apply For Medicare Online
Here well go through the steps to apply for Medicare online. The whole process for enrolling online is going to take about 10 or 15 minutes and youll need to have access to the internet.
This online enrollment were talking about is for Medicare only. If you also want to start your Social Security retirement benefits then you can apply at the same time you apply for Medicare.
Medicare Savings Programs: How It Works
Those with limited income and resources may qualify for premium assistance through Medicare Savings Programs . Each state manages MSP funds and decides who qualifies. Programs can pay for all, or just some, of your Medicare out-of-pocket expenses, which includes premiums. MSPs are primarily designed for Original Medicare plan enrollees, so all states must help eligible citizens with premium payments. However, states can decide whether to help pay Medicare Advantage premiums . When it comes to Medicare Part D, people who qualify for certain MSPs can receive help with premium payments through a separate program called Extra Help.
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Alternative Medicare Assistance Programs
Programs outside of Medicare that can help pay premiums are generally for Medicare Part D plans. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to get help paying your Part D premiums through State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs . These programs provide assistance to adults with disabilities and low-income seniors. States that offer Medicare premium assistance for Part D insurance make their own rules on who can qualify, as noted by the National Council on Aging. For instance, you may only be able to get help if you have Medicare but dont qualify for the LIS program or if you have a chronic medical condition.
Some drug manufacturers also offer help with prescription drug costs, but this is for the cost of medicines instead of the actual premium for your Part D plan. If youre a senior citizen, have limited income, or a disability, you may qualify for discounted or free prescribed medicines through Patient Assistance Programs .
How To Cancel Medicare Part B
The Part B cancellation process begins with downloading and printing Form CMS 1763, but dont fill it out yet. Youll need to complete the form during an interview with a representative of the Social Security Administration by phone or in person.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Social Security Administration offices are currently closed. The SSA is still answering phone calls, and you can access many services on its website. See the latest COVID-19 updates.
Call a Licensed Agent:
You can schedule an in-person or over-the-phone interview by contacting the SSA. If you prefer an in-person interview, use the Social Security Office Locator to find your nearest location. During your interview, fill out Form CMS 1763 as directed by the representative. If youve already received your Medicare card, youll need to return it during your in-person interview or mail it back after your phone interview.
What happens next depends on why youre canceling your Part B coverage.
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Canceling Part B Because You Were Automatically Enrolled
Some people are automatically enrolled in Part B if they’re receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits when they become eligible for Medicare. If that’s you, there’s a good chance your Medicare card will arrive in the mail even if you haven’t applied for benefits.
If you dont want this coverage and dont opt out, youll be responsible for Part B premiums, which may come straight out of your Social Security or RRB checks. But beware: if you opt out of Part B without having creditable coveragethat is, employer-sponsored health insurance from your current job thats as good or better than Medicareyou could face late-enrollment penalties down the line.
Help Paying Medicare Advantage Premiums
You may get help with paying your Part C premiums if youre eligible for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program. But its not guaranteed that you will receive premium payment assistance. Each state can decide whether to cover premiums for those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.
If you have both Medicare and Medicaid and are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan, Medicaid will pay for most of your insurance costs. However, the same rules apply states are not required to pay your plan premiums. Although you may not get help with premiums, states are responsible for paying your Medicare Advantage copayments and coinsurance for services covered under Medicare Parts A and B.
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How Can I Check On My Medicare Application
I applied for Medicare benefits last week. How can I check the status of my application?
You can check the status at our secure website, secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/IAPS/applicationStatus, but you must wait five days from the date you originally filed. You will need to enter your Social Security number and the confirmation number you received when you filed your application. Your application status also shows the date that we received your application, any requests for additional documents, the address of the office processing your application, and whether a decision has been made about your benefits. If you are unable to check your status online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
What Happens After I Register For Medicare Online
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by Medicare to ensure all the information is accurate and complete. You should double-check your contact information to make sure it is correct. This is important to ensure prompt delivery of your Identification Card, as well as in the event Medicare needs to contact you about your enrollment.
After your application is received and processed, a letter will be mailed to you with the decision. If you encounter any questions or problems during the process, you can always contact Social Security for assistance.
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Benefits Of Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers a variety of routine healthcare visits and treatments. If you can afford the premiums, then you may want to take advantage of this program, as it could help offset the cost of ongoing medical care. Depending on your eligibility, you may not have a choice when it comes to Medicare Part B.
However, financial need could help you pay for a portion or all of your monthly premiums. Dont hesitate to contact a representative from your local Social Security office to find out more about your unique situation. Just remember to conduct your own research well ahead of time, so that you dont incur unnecessary late fees in the future.
If You Are Under Age 65 And Disabled:
If you are under age 65 and disabled, and have been entitled to disability benefits under Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, you will be automatically entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B beginning the 25th month of disability benefit entitlement. You will not need to do anything to enroll in Medicare. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your Medicare entitlement date. , you get your Medicare benefits the first month you get disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.) For more information about enrollment, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security web site. See also Social Security’s Medicare FAQs.
For more information, see Medicare.gov
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Medicare Part B Enrollment Options And Penalties
Medicare Part B is optional, but in some ways, it can feel mandatory, because there are penalties associated with delayed enrollment. As discussed later, you dont have to enroll in Part B, particularly if youre still working when you reach age 65.
However, if you dont qualify for a Special Enrollment Period , then you may incur penalty charges. These penalty charges are indefinite for as long as you keep Medicare Part B. When should you enroll in Medicare Part B? If youre not automatically enrolled because of the aforementioned conditions, then here are your enrollment options:
- You have a seven-month initial period to enroll in Medicare Part B. The seven months include the three months prior to your 65th birthday, the month containing your 65th birthday and the three months that follow your birthday month. If you turn 65 on March 8, then you have from December 1 to June 30 to enroll in Medicare Part B.
- If you delay enrollment, then you have to wait until the next general enrollment period begins. For Medicare Part B, you have from January 1 through March 31 to enroll. Coverage doesnt begin until July.
Enrollment Period For Medigap
Medigap is Medicare supplement insurance. The time to buy a plan is during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is a 6-month time span that begins the month someone turns 65 and enrolls in Part B.
Once this period ends, an individual may not be able to enroll in a Medigap plan. If a company accepts their late application to Medigap, they may have to pay a higher premium due to any health conditions they have.
In contrast, if a person signs up during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, the company selling the plan cannot charge more than they would charge someone with no health problems.
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How To Sign Up For Medicare Heres What You Need To Know
You can enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B in the following ways:
- Online at www.SocialSecurity.gov.
- In-person at your local Social Security office.
If you worked at a railroad, enroll in Medicare by contacting the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772 . You can call Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM, to speak to an RRB representative.
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.
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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:
Can I Sign Up For Medicare Plans Online
Enrolling in Medicare coverage options online is generally easy and quick. More and more people are signing up online, according to an eHealth study. During 2018, about 16% of people in the study enrolled in Medicare coverage options online. Thats up from only 10% in 2017. In other words, about 60% more people in the study used eHealths online enrollment tool to sign up in 2018 than in 2017.
Its interesting to note that online enrollment was even higher during Q4. Q4 means the 4th quarter of the year, October through December. Thats when Medicares Fall Open Enrollment happens for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans. Fall Open Enrollment goes from October 15 December 7 every year.
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