Dont Register For Medicare Alone
If youre uncomfortable with applying for Medicare alone, we can help! Our services are completely free for you. If you would like an agent by your side when applying, contact us. We can walk you through setting up all your coverage, including Medicare, Medigap, Part D, and more.
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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Ways To Apply For Disability Benefits:
- If you or your spouse worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.
Once your disability benefits start, well mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months after your Part A starts, you might have to wait to sign up for Part B and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
Signing Up For A Medicare Advantage Plan
If you prefer to get your health coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan, you must first enroll in Original Medicare Part A and Part B and then switch to a separate Medicare Advantage plan.
All Medicare Advantage plans must offer the same Medicare Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, but some plans include other benefits, such as prescription drug coverage, dental and vision.
Medicare Advantage Plans do not all offer the same benefits.
Use the Medicare Plan Finder or call your local SHIP representative to compare plans in your area.
Four Ways to Sign Up for a Medicare Advantage Plan
To join a Medicare Advantage plan, you will need your Medicare number and the date your Part A and Part B coverage began.
Free Medicare Help
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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|
How To Enroll In A Medicare Part D Plan
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When Can You Sign Up Outside Of The Initial And General Enrollment Periods
You could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and avoid the penalty for enrolling late. SEPs are typically granted if you or your spouse are still working when you turn 65 and you have group health insurance through an employer or union.
In that case, youre allowed to enroll in Part B at any time you have qualified group health coverage and youve turned 65. Once you no longer have coverage, you can enroll during the eight-month SEP period that starts the month after you lose the job or the coverage, whichever comes first.
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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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.
How Do I Sign Up For Medicare
There are three ways to apply for Medicare:
- OnlineYou may apply for Medicare online through the Social Security Administration website. The application process typically takes no more than 10 minutes to complete.
- Call 1-800-772-1213 between 7am and 7pm Monday through Friday to apply over the phone. If you are hard of hearing, you may dial 1-800-325-0778.
- In personVisit your local Social Security office to apply for Medicare in person.
If you’re eligible for or enrolled in Medicare and you want to compare your Medicare plan options, a licensed insurance agent may be able to help.
You can call to speak with an agent who can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare prescription drug plans that are available where you live. If you’re eligible, an agent may be able to help you enroll over the phone.
You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.
Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area
Or call 1-800-557-6059TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!
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How To Apply For Medicare Remotely
The Social Security site has always made it easy to apply for Medicare online. It takes around 10 minutes. Before you begin, gather the following information:
- Your birthdate
- Your Medicaid number
- Your Permanent Resident Card number
If you currently have group coverage through an employer, whether yours or your spouse’s, you also need
- An employment start and end date
- Current group health plan information, including start and end dates
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are sold by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. All people new to Medicare have a seven-month window to enroll in a PDP three months before, the month of and three months after their Medicare becomes effective. The month you enroll affects the PDPs effective date. All people with Medicare are eligible to enroll in a PDP however, unless you are new to Medicare or are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period, you must enroll or change plans during the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. There is a monthly premium for these plans. If you have limited income and assets/resources, assistance is available to help pay premiums, deductibles and co-payments. You may be entitled to Extra Help through the Social Security Administration. To apply for this benefit contact SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 or the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or www.socialsecurity.gov.
When Can I Enroll In Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare prescription drug coverage is optional and does not occur automatically. You can receive coverage for prescription drugs by either signing up for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans are available through private insurers. Please note that you cannot have both a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan and a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage.
How Do You Apply By Phone
Call 772-1213 or TTY 325-0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday.5 Keep in mind that this process takes longer because forms have to be mailed to you, which you then complete and send back. At peak times, applying for Medicare by phone could take a month or more.
If you worked at a railroad, you can enroll in Medicare by calling the Railroad Retirement Board at 772-5772 or TTY 751-4701, 9AM 3:30PM, Monday Friday.
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Applying For Medicare Over The Phone
Applying by phone is another good option that works for many. Just follow these simple steps.
If you apply over the phone, you will need to send in documents such as your original birth certificate to verify your identity. If this makes you nervous, applying in person is probably your best bet.
It Pays To Enroll On Time
If you miss your initial enrollment window to sign up for Medicare, you can do so later on. But know this: For each 12-month period youre eligible for coverage but dont apply, youll risk a 10% surcharge on your Part B premiums.
If youre still working during your initial enrollment period and have group health coverage, youll get a special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare later on, and you wont have to worry about that penalty. But otherwise, enrolling on time can not only save you money, but ensure that you have coverage when you need it.
Maurie Backman has been writing professionally for well over a decade, and her coverage area runs the gamut from healthcare to personal finance to career advice. Much of her writing these days revolves around retirement and its various components and challenges, including healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, and money management.
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How Do I Change My Medicare Coverage
Your Medicare choices are not set in stone after the first time you enroll. You can make changes to your Medicare coverage during a few special Medicare enrollment periods.
- The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period , October 15 December 7
- The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, January 1 March 31
- The Medicare Special Enrollment Period for qualifying life events dates vary based on qualifying event
Learn how to make changes to your Medicare coverage during these three time periods:
Applying For Your Medicare Card
For some people, Medicare enrollment occurs automatically, while others need to manually enroll. Medicare sends you a red, white, and blue card when youre signed up.
Youre generally eligible for Medicare if youre a United States citizen or permanent legal resident of at least five continuous years, and you generally qualify by age . However, you may qualify for Medicare before turning 65 if you receive Social Security or certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits see details below. You may also qualify for Medicare before age 65 if you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or end-stage renal disease . Read on for more information.
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If You Need A New Medicare Card Sooner
Have a doctors appointment? If you cant wait 30 days for your new card to arrive, you can visit your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
The agency will mail you a letter that you can use as proof of Medicare eligibility until you receive your new Medicare card. You should receive this letter within 10 days of submitting the request.
If you receive Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you should call your local RRB office or 1-877-772-5772. TTY users can dial 1-312-751-4701. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 3:30PM.
How Do I Enroll In Medicare
Administration at 1-800-772-1213 to enroll in Medicare or to ask questions about whether you are eligible. You can also visit their web site at www.socialsecurity.gov.
The Medicare.gov Web site also has a tool to help you determine if you are eligibile for Medicare and when you can enroll. It is called the Medicare Eligibility Tool.
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.
Exempt From The Three Month Waiting Period
Canadian Armed Forces Dependents
The spouse or dependent of a regular member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has entered the province from another Canadian province or territory are entitled to first-day coverage providing they have established residence in the province of New Brunswick.
Foreign Nationals/Out of Country Residents moving back to New Brunswick
As of June 17, 2010, Foreign Nationals or Canadians moving back to New Brunswick from another country are entitled to Medicare coverage from their first day of arrival in the province providing they are deemed by the Director to have established a permanent residence within New Brunswick. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
NOTE: If you have moved to New Brunswick from another Canadian province or territory, it is recommended that you contact your former place of residence to ensure continuous coverage during the three month waiting period.
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You Automatically Get Medicare
- You should already have Part A and Part B , because you have ALS and youre already getting disability benefits.
- We mailed you a welcome package with your Medicare card.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.
- Well mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare coverage starts.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months after your Part A starts, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
- Well mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare coverage starts.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months of turning 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
How To Apply For Medicare By Phone And In Person
There are a number of other ways you can apply for Medicare, which includes:
- You can apply in person at your local Social Security office. It may be wise to call ahead and schedule an appointment.
If you are currently not living in the United States or one of the territories, you have the option to contact the closest U.S. Social Security office, the U.S. Embassy or the consulate.
If you have any questions about this article and/or would like help enrolling in Medicare, give us a call at 260-9829.
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Signing Up For A Medigap Policy
To purchase a Medigap supplement insurance policy, you must first enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.
The best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is when you are first eligible.
This is a six-month enrollment period that begins the month youre 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
If you apply for Medigap coverage after this six-month window, private insurance companies may not sell you a policy if youre in poor health.
You can find a Medigap policy by using an online tool on the Medicare website, contacting your local SHIP or calling your State Insurance Department.
How to Sign Up for a Medigap Policy Online