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:
When Applying For Medicare What Documents Do I Need
If you have Medicare, you can get information and services online. Find out how to .
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B . If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.
You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:
- State I want Part B coverage to begin in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employers signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
- Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get .
How To Apply Online For Medicare
Social Security offers you a quick online application for Medicare that can be completed in fewer than ten minutes. You do not have to be receiving income benefits to get Medicare. Just visit the Social Security website, create an account, and follow the links about applying for Medicare.
To apply for both SS retirement benefits and Medicare at the same time, visit this link:
To apply for just Medicare, visit this link:
While you wait for Social Security to process your request, our friendly agents can help you learn your Medicare Supplement insurance options. Well provide you with resources and make sure your coverage is ready to go by the time you get your card in hand!
Enrolling in Medicare online is certainly the easiest, but occasionally people run into problems because some of their data is incorrect in Social Securitys system. If that happens, you can consider signing up by phone. Lets take a look at that next.
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How To Get More Out Of Your Medicare Coverage
We covered the basics of how to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B, but of course thats not all there is to Medicare.
- Medicare Part D covers prescription medications.
- Medicare Advantage offers Original Medicare plus additional benefits, provided by private insurers.
- Medicare Supplement plans cover the costs Original Medicare wont with an additional monthly premium.
No matter your need, there is no shortage of options when it comes to Medicare. We’re here to help you navigate those options so you can find the best plan.
Check out our Medicare Guide if you’re looking for a more comprehensive explanation of your Medicare benefits.
How Does Medicare Enrollment Work
If youre enrolling in Original Medicare when you turn 65, most of the enrollment process will be automatic. In fact, you may not have to show any documents at all in this situation.
The reason for this is that enrollment goes through Social Security, which already has access to many of your documents. For this reason, Social Security can also automatically set up payment to be deducted from your Social Security check each month, making the entire process seamless and simple.
If you need to enroll manually, you can do so online or contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 . You can also do this at a local Social Security office. Doing it in person may expedite your enrollment slightly, as the documents can be processed more quickly in some cases.
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What Happens After I Register For Medicare
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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In most circumstances, youll get a Medicare I.D. card several weeks after your initial application is approved. Unfortunately, waiting times can be as long as 90 days in some cases.
However, if you automatically enroll 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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How To Submit Insurance Documents
To upload a required document, select Upload Document. Find the document file on your computer by choosing Select File to Upload. Select the file and click Upload.
You may submit pictures or scanned files.
- These types of files are acceptable: PDF, JPEG, JPG, GIF, PNG, XML, TIFF, and BMP.
- The file cant be larger than 10 MB.
- Dont include any special characters such as these in the file name: / \ : * ? < > |.
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How To Enroll In A Medicare Part D Plan
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.
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How Do I Apply For Medicare Online
Applying for your Medicare benefits online is a simple 10-minute process for most people, and you wont need to send in any documents or other information to apply. In order to use the online application process, you must:
- Be at least 64 years and 9 months old.
- Want to enroll in Medicare and not currently receiving any Medicare benefits, including premium-free Part A.
- Not be receiving any Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits.
You can complete the online application through the Social Security Administration website. If you have any questions or problems completing the online Medicare application, you can contact the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.You can speak to a representative Mon-Fri 7am-7pm.
Please note that if you worked for a railroad, you must apply for Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board. You can contact them at 772-5772 751-4701).You may reach a representative Mon-Fri 9am-3:30pm
Be Aware Of Other Enrollment Periods
Most people sign up for Medicare during the seven-month initial enrollment period around their 65th birthday.
But what if you missed your initial enrollment period and want to make changes or add additional coverage?
There are specific times each year when you can do this.
Alternate Medicare Enrollment Periods
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You Should Only Need To File A Claim In Very Rare Cases
Medicare claims must be filed no later than 12 months after the date when the services were provided. If a claim isn’t filed within this time limit, Medicare can’t pay its share. For example, if you see your doctor on March 22, 2019, your doctor must file the Medicare claim for that visit no later than March 22, 2020. Check the “Medicare Summary Notice” you get in the mail every 3 months, or log into your secure Medicare account to make sure claims are being filed in a timely way.
Documents You Need If Youre A Permanent Resident
You need to provide documents that prove your identity and residency.
You can enrol in Medicare if you have a permanent resident visa. Youll need to give us both:
- a current passport or Immicard
- proof of permanent residency from the Department of Home Affairs.
We need these for each person you want to enrol.
You dont need to get your documents certified.
If you dont have these documents, tell us. Well talk to you about other options.
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How To Apply For Medicare: The Basics
Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Part A and Part B.
Part A is known as hospital insurance and covers services like a room, meals, nursing services, and treatment in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Most people do not have to pay premiums for Part A because of the payroll taxes paid during their working career.
Part B is known as medical insurance and covers services like tests, services performed by doctors , preventive services like flu shots, and much more. Part B is covered by a monthly premium, set by law each year.
Although Medicare is its own entity, all applications for Original Medicare go through the United States Social Security Administration. You can apply for Medicare in one of three ways:
- Online: This method is the easiest and quickest way to apply, taking ten to thirty minutes.
- : If you want to talk to a human but from the convenience of your home.
- In person: If your situation is complicated, you dont wish to mail important documents, or you prefer speaking to someone face-to-face.
How To Apply For Medicare By Phone
Applying for Medicare by phone is just as easy as applying for Medicare online. Contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and tell the representative that you wish to apply for Medicare. If you have Railroad Retirement, you can contact the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772. Sometimes you will be helped immediately. If the volume of calls is high, Social Security will schedule a telephone appointment with you to take your application over the phone.
Your SS representative may send you some forms to complete. Generally these forms are simple. One caveat about phone applications for Medicare is that they take longer. The forms have to be mailed to you, and then you complete them and mail back. This can cause delays. Use the phone enrollment option only if you have a month or two lead time before your intended Medicare effective date.
Finally, there are some people who just feel better handling their Medicare enrollment in person. So lets close by going over how to apply for Medicare in person.
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After You Apply For Medicare
No matter how you applied, once your application is complete, the Social Security office will send you a copy of the information it has on record regarding your application. Be sure to double-check this document for any mistakes, as this is your chance to correct it.
Some time later, youll get your Medicare card via mail, so be on the lookout for envelopes from the Social Security office.
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Common Questions About Applying For Medicare
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a national health insurance program that offers hospital and medical insurance through two different parts. Medicare Part A provides inpatient hospital coverage, hospice care, skilled nursing facility, home health care, and more. Part B provides outpatient services, including doctor visits, surgeries, durable medical equipment, and more. Medicare does not cover 100% of the cost of these services.
When will I get my Original Medicare card?
In other words how long does it take to get your Medicare card after applying? In most cases, you will receive your Medicare card about 3 weeks after you apply. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, your card will just show up in your mailbox about 2 months before you turn 65. When you receive it, be sure that you do not forget to enroll in Part D if you need drug coverage before your Initial Enrollment Period ends.
Do I automatically get Medicare when I turn 65?
Maybe! If you are already receiving Social Security benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday month, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare at 65. However, if not, you will need to enroll in Medicare yourself.
When is open enrollment for Medicare? Do you have to apply for Medicare every year?
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What Happens After I Apply For Medicare Online
Once you complete your online application, Medicare will review it to ensure all information is complete. Make sure you have accurate contact information in case Medicare needs to contact you about your application information and so that you receive your Medicare enrollment information and ID cards.
Once your application is processed, you will receive a decision letter in the mail. If you have any questions during the application process or after you have submitted your application, you can always call the number above for assistance.
Do you have questions about when to apply for Medicare or what plans and options are best for you? Id like to help you understand your options. If youd prefer, you can get information via email or schedule a telephone call by clicking one of the links at the bottom of the page. To see a list of plans in your area you may be eligible for, click the Compare Plans button.
New To Medicare?
Becoming eligible for Medicare can be daunting. But dont worry, were here to help you understand Medicare in 15 minutes or less.
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.
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Do I Need Medicare Enrollment Forms For Original Medicare Part A And Part B
You might not need to worry about enrolling in Original Medicare . Many people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B when they become eligible, but some people have to apply on their own.
Heres how you may qualify for automatic enrollment in Original Medicare :
- If youre already receiving Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits, youll typically get enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65.
- If youre under age 65, and youve been receiving disability benefits from the SSA or RRB for 24 months in a row, in most cases youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you reach the 25th month of receiving disability benefits.
- If youre under age 65 and have ALS , you can generally expect to be automatically enrolled in Medicare during the first month of receiving disability benefits from the SSA or RRB.
But in some cases, automatic enrollment in Medicare may not apply to your situation. Here are some examples of when you might need to enroll in Original Medicare manually, such as by filling out a Medicare application form:
When can I enroll in Original Medicare?
How do I apply for Original Medicare?
Will There Be Additional Information Required By Medicare
The application asks for your social security number, marital status, place of birth, what wages you have earned, any alias names you might have, and the names of your unmarried children under the age of 18. In addition, they will ask if you have a criminal record. So, you will want to be prepared if the Medicare administrator requests you provide additional information to clarify the documents you have provided.
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