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When Should I Sign Up For Medicare

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Signing Up For Medicare Online Step

How and When to Sign Up for Medicare

Signing up for Medicare online through the Social Security Administration is the fastest way to apply.

Enrollment takes less than 10 minutes online, according to the Social Security Administration.

How to Apply for Medicare Online

  • Create a My Social Security account if you dont have one already.
  • Visit the Social Security Administrations Apply for Benefits page.
  • Follow the instructions.
  • You will be asked to provide your current health insurance information or, if you receive Medicaid benefits, your Medicaid number.

    You may be required to provide additional documentation if you are:

    • Not a U.S. citizen
    • Applying under your spouses work record
    • Over age 65 and transitioning from your employers health coverage

    After youre enrolled, CMS will send you a welcome packet in the mail along with your Medicare card.

    If you sign up for Medicare on your own, the packet should arrive about two weeks after you sign up.

    You will also receive a Medicare & You handbook, which includes important information about your coverage.

    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.

    Medicare Enrollment Periods: When To Sign Up

    When to join a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

    Its important for you to know when to sign up for Medicare or when to join a Medicare plan. Remember these times so you get the most out of your Medicare and avoid late enrollment penalties:

    • Initial Medicare Enrollment Period: Most people get Medicare Part A and Part B during this period. It starts 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65. If youre not already collecting Social Security benefits before your Initial Enrollment Period starts, youll need to sign up for Medicare online or contact Social Security.To get the most from your Medicare and avoid the Part B late enrollment penalty, complete your Medicare enrollment application during your Initial Enrollment Period. This lifetime penalty gets added to your monthly Part B premium, and it goes up the longer you wait to sign up. Find out if you should get Part B based on your situation.
    • General Medicare Enrollment Period: If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during Medicares General Enrollment Period , and your coverage will start July 1.
    • Special Enrollment Period: Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have the chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period . You can sign up for Part A and or Part B during an SEP if you have special circumstances.

    When to join a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

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    What Else Do I Need To Know

    • Medicare can help cover your costs for health care, like hospital visits and doctors services.
    • Most people dont pay a premium for Part A, but you do pay a monthly premium for Part B.
    • If you cant afford the monthly premium, there are programs to help lower your costs. Get details about cost saving programs.

    How Social Security Benefits Can Affect Medicare Enrollment

    " Should I Sign Up for Medicare Part B?"

    If you are receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, even if youre working. Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail about 3 months before your 65th birthday.

    Once youre enrolled in Medicare, a monthly Part B premium will be automatically deducted from your Social Security check. If you dont want Medicare Part B, you need to notify Medicare to opt out. There will be instructions for doing this on the back of your Medicare card.

    If youre not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will need to enroll yourself in Medicare when you become eligible.

    Read Also: How Old To Get Medicare Part B

    Sign Up: Within 8 Months After You Or Your Spouse Stopped Working

    Your current coverage might not pay for health services if you dont have both Part A and 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?

    Applying For Medicare By Phone

    Just like applying online, applying for Medicare by phone is easy. You can contact a representative at 1-800-772-1213.

    Depending on the volume of calls, there might be a wait time. If the wait time is above average, you can schedule an appointment to have a representative call you.

    The only downfall with applying for Medicare by phone is that it can take longer compared to online. If youre ahead of the game and start well before your birthday, then applying by phone shouldnt cause any issues. If you do not wish to apply online or by phone, you can choose to do so in person.

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    How Do You Sign Up For A Medicare Advantage Or Medicare Supplement And Prescription Drug Plan

    You can sign-up for a Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Prescription Drug plan with us. We offer plans in most areas of the country.

    Our secure online store lets you shop for plans. You enter information from your red, white, and blue Medicare ID card, add any prescriptions, add your preferred doctors and facilities, and answer a few questions. Well show you plans that are a match for you. You can also find answers to your questions, receive a quote, and apply online.

    What Is The Medicare Part B Late

    When Should I Sign Up for Medicare? | A MINUTE ON MEDICARE

    If you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you may need to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare. Your monthly Part B premium could be 10% higher for every full 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B, but didnt take it. This higher premium could be in effect for as long as you are enrolled in Medicare. For those who are not automatically enrolled, there are various Medicare enrollment periods during which you can apply for Medicare. Be aware that, with certain exceptions, there are late-enrollment penalties for not signing up for Medicare when you are first eligible.

    One exception is if you have health coverage through an employer health plan or through your spouses employer plan, you can delay Medicare Part B enrollment without paying a late-enrollment penalty. This health coverage must be based on current employment, meaning that COBRA or retiree benefits arent considered current employer health coverage.

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    Medicare Enrollment: How And When To Sign Up For Medicare

    Sign up for Medicare when you turn 65 or if you qualify based on your disability.

    What you should know
    1. Medicare enrollment begins around 65 for most Americans.2. Most people qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A, which covers hospital and skilled nursing facility care, hospice, and some home health care.
    3. If you dont qualify for automatic Medicare enrollment, youll need to sign up during your seven-month Initial Enrollment Period .4. If you dont sign up during your IEP, you can enroll during the annual general enrollment period, which lasts from January 1 through March 31 of each year.

    Your 65th birthday marks the date when, after decades of working and paying into the Medicare system through taxes, the system finally starts paying you back with government health insurance.

    Enrolling in Medicare is vitally important for all Americans, and its just as important to do it in the right way, at the right time, says Bryan W. Adams, cofounder and CEO of Integrity Marketing Group. Given that health care expenses tend to rise as you age, taking full advantage of the Medicare coverage and benefits youve earned can play a crucial role in protecting your health and savings.

    Heres what you need to know about how and when to sign up for Medicare.

    Should I Enroll In Part D If Im Still Working

    Part D is the part of Medicare that provides coverage for prescription drugs. If your employers health plan offers coverage for prescription drugs, Part D may not be necessary for you. To avoid late enrollment penalties, make sure to talk to your benefits administrator to confirm your employer coverage is considered creditable under Medicare.

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    How To Apply For Medicare Through Social Security

    Apply online: The easiest way to complete the Medicare enrollment application is online at ssa.gov. Its convenient to sign up from home. You can start and stop the application and save your information. After you submit your application, youll get a receipt to print and keep. You can also check the status of your application.

    Apply in person: Visit your local Social Security office. You can find the nearest office with the Social Security office locator. They recommend that you make an appointment.

    Apply by phone: Call Social Security at 800-772-1213 .

    When Are You Eligible For Each Part Or Plan In Medicare

    When should I sign up for Medicare?

    Here is an at-a-glance overview of when youll be eligible for each part of Medicare:

    • Part A. Youre eligible to enroll for Medicare Part A during the initial enrollment period. Youll automatically be enrolled at age 65 for Medicare Part A if youre currently receiving Social Security disability benefits or railroad retirement board disability benefits.
    • Part B. As with Medicare Part A, youre eligible to enroll for Medicare Part B during initial enrollment, and youll be automatically enrolled if you receive disability or retirement benefits.
    • Part C . To enroll in Medicare Part C, you must first have parts A and B. You sign up for Medicare Part C during initial enrollment or other enrollment periods.
    • Part D. You can enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan when you first get Medicare during initial enrollment. If you dont sign up for Medicare Part D within 63 days of your IEP, you may incur a late enrollment penalty.
    • Medicare supplement . The initial enrollment period for Medigap is triggered by the start of the month when you turn 65 years old and sign up for Part B. Initial enrollment for Medigap lasts for 6 months from that date.

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    Medicare Part B: Delay To Avoid Premiums

    If youre 65 or older and you or your spouse still have employer health coverage, you will probably want to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B, which pays for doctor visits and many other outpatient services. Why? Because unlike Medicare Part A, everyone pays a premium for Part B, so its never a free add-on.

    As with Part A, your particular circumstances can influence your decision, and there are pitfalls to avoid:

    If the employer has 20 or more employees: If your or your spouse’s employer has 20 or more employees and a group health plan, you’re not required to sign up for Medicare at age 65. But the clock starts ticking once you stop working or lose your employer coverage , so don’t miss your window.

    If the employer has fewer than 20 employees: If your or your spouse’s employer has fewer than 20 employees and the health coverage is not part of a multiemployer group plan, at age 65 you must enroll in Medicare Part B, which will be your primary insurance.

    If you have an HSA and want to keep contributing: If you have an HSA and want to continue making contributions to it, you must delay signing up for Medicare Part B. Stop making contributions to your HSA at least six months before you sign up for Part B. And youll want to sign up for Medicare at least a month before you stop work or lose employer coverage.

    Already Enrolled In Medicare

    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:

  • Fax or mail your CMS-40B, CMS-L564, and secondary evidence to your local Social Security office .
  • Note: When completing the forms CMS-40B and CMS-L564

    • 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 .

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    Signing Up For Medicare When Cobra And Retiree Health Plan Ends

    Unfortunately, COBRA and retiree health plans arent considered coverage based on current employment. So, you arent eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when that coverage ends.

    So, keep that in mind and consider signing up for Medicare when youre first eligible. Otherwise, you may be subject to an enrollment penalty.

    When Does It Pay To Enroll In Medicare Before Social Security

    How & When To Sign Up for Medicare 2021

    You might assume that it pays to sign up for Social Security prior to Medicare, but in many cases, it actually pays to enroll in Medicare first.

    Unless youre disabled, you wont be able to enroll in Medicare prior to age 65. And unless youre continuing to work and receive employer-sponsored coverage, theres no benefit to delaying your Medicare enrollment more than three months after you turn 65.

    So in almost all cases, your Medicare enrollment window will correspond closely with your 65th birthday, and the coverage you receive under the program wont vary based on when you enroll. But the age at which you sign up for Social Security will dictate what your monthly benefits under Social Security amount to.

    Your Social Security benefits are calculated with a formula that uses your average inflation-adjusted monthly wage over your 35 highest-paid years in the workforce. Your resulting monthly benefit will be available to you in full once you reach whats known as full retirement age. That age is currently between 66 and 67, depending on your year of birth.

    If you file for Social Security prior to full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced for each month you claim them early. You can also delay your Social Security benefits past full retirement age and boost them by 8% a year in the process, up until age 70, which is generally considered the latest age to claim Social Security.

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    The Parts Of Medicare

    Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare .

    • Medicare Part A helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility . Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
    • Medicare Part B helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.

    Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.

    • Supplemental policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
    • Medicare Advantage Plan includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental bundled together in one plan.
    • Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

    Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read .

    Should I Sign Up For Multiple Types Of Medicare

    There arent really multiple types of Medicare, but there are various Medicare plan options to consider. You can read more about the types of Medicare coverage in this article about budgeting for health insurance.

    Do you have more questions? Connect with any of our licensed insurance agents to discuss a Medicare plan that may be right for you.

    *The online enrollment figures included in this report are based on submitted applications for MA and Medigap products during the fourth quarter of 2017 and 2018. This includes the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which ran from October 1 through December 7 in both years. Unless otherwise noted, MA and Medicare Advantage are used in this report to refer to all Medicare Advantage products, including those that offer prescription drug coverage .

    The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these eHealth web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

    Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealths Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage. Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.

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