What If Your Medicare Card Didnt Arrive
If youre expecting to receive a Medicare card but havent yet received one three months before your 65th birthday, the first thing to do is to not worry. Medicare sends out hundreds of thousands of cards per year without issue. Its possible for the card to be delayed or for there to be an error. To confirm whether a Medicare card is heading your way, check with your local Social Security office to make sure that youre enrolled.
How Medicare Affects Your Coverage
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, or otherwise receiving Social Security disability benefits.
Medicare is divided into four different parts, which cover specific services. You will only need to focus on these three if you enroll in a state-sponsored retiree insurance plan:
Why Are You Forced Into Medicare
If you or your spouse worked for at least 10 years in a job where Medicare taxes were withheld , youll become automatically eligible for Medicare once you turn 65.
Recent immigrants are not eligible for Medicare, but once theyve been legal permanent residents for five years and are at least 65, they have the option to purchase Medicare coverageas opposed to getting Medicare Part A for freewhich is the same option available to long-term U.S. residents who, for one reason or another, dont have a work history that gives them access to premium-free Medicare Part A . Note that immigrants who go on to work for at least 10 years in the US do then become eligible for premium-free Part A Medicare if theyre 65 or older, just like anyone else who has paid into the Medicare system for at least a decade.
Once you become eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, you have to enroll in Medicare Part A or you forfeit your Social Security benefits. Most individuals are unwilling to forfeit their Social Security benefits, and thus accept the enrollment into Medicare. Note that youre only required to accept Medicare Part Awhich is premium-free if youre receiving Social Security benefitsin order to retain your Social Security benefits. You are allowed to reject Medicare Part Bwhich has a premiumif you choose to do so, although you could be subject to a late enrollment penalty if you choose to enroll in Part B at a later date. .
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Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance
With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.
If youre eligible at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.
Note: Important Upcoming Change Rules for 2023 and later: If you accept the automatic enrollment in Medicare Part B or if you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start the month youre first eligible. Beginning January 1, 2023, if you sign up during the month you turn 65 or during the last three months of your IEP, your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.
The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2022:
|In 2022, if you sign up during this month of your IEP||Your Part B Medicare coverage starts|
|One to three months before you reach age 65||The month you turn age 65.|
|The month you reach age 65||One month after the month you turn age 65.|
|One month after you reach age 65||Two months after the month of enrollment.|
|Two or three months after you reach age 65||Three months after the month of enrollment.|
The following chart shows when your Medicare Part B becomes effective in 2023:
What You Need To Do
If you will be eligible for Medicare when you retire, you should contact Social Security to enroll in both Medicare Parts A and Parts B three months before your retirement effective date. You will get a Medicare number once you are enrolled that you will need to provide to ORS when you enroll in an insurance plan.
When you apply to retire, you’ll have a chance to enroll in a retiree insurance plan in step two of the online application. You will pick a carrier from the list of available options in your area and ORS will enroll you in the respective Medicare Advantage plan. Once you’re enrolled in the Medicare plan of your choice, you can expect ID cards and welcome kits from your selected carrier. If you apply at least three months before your insurance effective date, your cards will usually arrive before your coverage begins. If you need health services before your cards arrive, contact the insurance carrier directly to get your policy number or to verify coverage. For more information, go to your insurance carrier’s website. Waiting to enroll in Medicare could affect your eligibility and coverage.
New Medicare Card
Tell ORS your Medicare number and effective dates for parts A and B
If your new 11-digit Medicare card arrives after you apply to retire, tell ORS your Medicare number as soon as you receive your card.
You can submit your Medicare enrollment information one of the following ways:
Consequences of not enrolling on time or disenrolling
Effects of other coverage
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When Should I Sign Up For Medicare
Generally, we advise people to file for Medicare benefits 3 months before age 65. Remember, Medicare benefits can begin no earlier than age 65. If you are already receiving Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B without an additional application. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. You will receive a Medicare card about two months before age 65. If you would like to file for Medicare only, you can apply by calling 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives there can make an appointment for you at any convenient Social Security office and advise you what to bring with you. When you apply for Medicare, we often also take an application for monthly benefits. You can apply for retirement benefits online.
If you didnt sign up when you were first eligible for Medicare, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1 and March 31 each year, unless you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
Signing Up For Medicare Automatically
You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare coverage if you:
- Are already getting retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration
- Are already getting retirements from the Railroad Retirement Board
If you are signed up for Medicare coverage automatically, your Medicare card will be mailed to you three months before your 65th birthday. Your Medicare coverage benefits will start on the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is the first of the month, your benefits will start on the first day of the previous month.
You can be sure that your address is updated for Medicare by going to your My Social Security account online.
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Documents You Need To Apply For Medicare
To begin the application process, youll need to ensure you have the following documentation to verify your 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 Medicare Part A and have chosen to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B, you must complete the additional forms .
- 40B form:This allows you to apply for enrollment into Medicare Part B only. The 40B form must be included in your online application or mailed directly to the Social Security office.
- L564 form:Your employer must complete this form if you delayed Medicare Part B due to creditable group coverage through said employer. You must also include the completed L564 form in your online application, or mail it directly to the Social Security office.
Who Can Delay Signing Up For Medicare
So, whose insurance remains the primary payer? In a nutshell, if you have coverage through your or your spouses current employment, and the employer has 20 or more employees, your insurance plan remains the primary payer.
If you arent sure if your employer meets the group health coverage criteria, ask your employers benefits manager.
If you do qualify, you can delay signing up for Medicare for as long as you are still working. Once the employment or your employer-based health coverage ends, youll have eight months to sign up for Medicare Part B without paying a penalty, which is a permanently higher premium.
Its also important to note that regardless of whether youre still working or not, if youve already signed up for Social Security benefits, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65. If you dont want to keep Part B, youll need to cancel it .
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Who Gets Automatically Enrolled In Medicare
A few different groups of people receive Medicare benefits automatically. When you are automatically enrolled in Medicare, you will receive your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail.
People who have been receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board at least four months before they turn 65 will automatically get Part A and Part B. Coverage for these people starts on the first day of the month they turn 65 or the first day of the month before for people whose birthdays are on the first day of the month. If these people live in Puerto Rico, they will only be automatically enrolled in Part A and will need to apply for enrollment in Part B. These people all receive their Medicare card in the mail three months before they turn 65.
People who have a disability and have received disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months are automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B. They will receive their Medicare cards in the mail three months before their 25th month of receiving disability benefits.
People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis automatically receive Medicare Part A and Part B the month they first receive their disability benefits. They will receive their Medicare card in the mail this same month.
Is Medicare Part B Based On Income
Medicare premiums are based on your modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI. … If your MAGI for 2020 was less than or equal to the higher-income threshold $91,000 for an individual taxpayer, $182,000 for a married couple filing jointly you pay the standard Medicare Part B rate for 2022, which is $170.10 a month.
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What Does Medicare Cover
Medicare helps pay for certain health care services and durable medical equipment. To have full Medicare coverage, Medicare beneficiaries must have Part A and Part B .
The following is a partial list of Medicare-covered services. The covered services listed below may require payment of deductibles and Co-Payments.
If you have questions about covered services, call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
Am I Automatically Enrolled In Medicare Part A When I Turn 65
Yes. If you are receiving benefits, the Social Security Administration will automatically sign you up at age 65 for parts A and B of Medicare. … Social Security will send you sign-up instructions at the beginning of your initial enrollment period, three months before the month of your 65th birthday.
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I Am Turning 65 In A Few Months And Want To Go On Medicare Will I Be Automatically Enrolled In Parts A And B Or Do I Need To Sign Up
It depends. If youre receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board at least four months before you turn 65, you do NOT need to sign up youll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month that you turn 65. You should receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday. If you are NOT receiving benefits from Social Security or the RRB at least four months before you turn 65, you will need to sign up with Social Security to get Parts A and B. To sign up to receive Parts A and B, you can enroll online with Social Security, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or visit your local Social Security office.
Your First Chance To Sign Up
Generally, when you turn 65. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period. It lasts for 7 months, starting 3 months before you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Avoid the penaltyIf you miss your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period, you may have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage. The penalty goes up the longer you wait. You may also have to pay a penalty if you have to pay a Part A premium, also called Premium-Part A.
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When Does Medicare Not Automatically Start
Medicare will NOT automatically start when you turn 65 if youre not receiving Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months prior to your 65th birthday. Youll need to apply for Medicare coverage.
Theres no such thing as a Medicare office enrollment in the program is handled by the Social Security Administration . If you have to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B on your own, you can visit your local Social Security office.
You can also online by following the instructions at the Social Security Administration Medicare Benefits web page. In most cases, signing up online will take ten minutes.
What Is The Initial Enrollment Period For Medicare
The Medicare Initial Enrollment Period is your seven-month window to apply for Medicare and enroll in a Medicare plan. The period starts three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after. Choosing your Medicare plan during the IEP is your best way to avoid late-enrollment penalties.
First time enrollment tip: If you need coverage the month you turn 65, be sure to sign up in the 3-month window before your birthday.
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Contact Social Security To Sign Up For Medicare
You can either:
Know when to sign up for Part BYou can only sign up for Part B at certain times. If you dont sign up for Part B when you turn 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty. Find out when you can sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?
What Happens If You Dont Sign Up For Medicare At 65
When you near your 65th birthday, you will enter what is called your Initial Enrollment Period . This seven-month period begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month of your birthday and continues for three additional months. This is your first opportunity to sign up for Medicare.
If you choose not to sign up for Medicare during your IEP, there are a few scenarios that might play out depending on your situation.
Medicare Advantage plans do not have a late enrollment penalty. You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan at any age, as long as you are already enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
Medicare Supplement Insurance does not technically have a late enrollment penalty. However, if you enroll in a Medigap plan during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurance providers arent allowed to use medical underwriting to determine your plan premiums or deny you coverage. Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period lasts for six months and starts as soon as you are 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
There are also some Medicare Special Enrollment Periods that may apply to a someone who is turning 65. For example, if you are living overseas at the time of your 65th birthday and then later return to the U.S., you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for which you can sign up for Medicare with no late enrollment penalty.
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Medicare Expert Q& A: Will I Be Automatically Enrolled In Medicare When I Turn 65
- Reviewed byJohn Krahnert
I turn 65 next year. Will I be automatically enrolled in Medicare? Is there anything I need to do? Linda M., Springfield, MO
Thanks for writing in, Linda. Ill start answering your question by asking one of my own: Will you be collecting retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least four months by the time you turn 65 years old?
I ask because automatic enrollment in Medicare hinges largely on that particular criteria.
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