What Do You Need To Know About Your Medicare Card
Your red-white-and-blue paper Medicare card is similar to other health insurance cards you may have had in the past. It acts as proof that you have Medicare health insurance, and it provides the starting date of your coverage.
Did You Know?
A red-white-and-blue paper Medicare card is mailed to adults who are turning 65 and enrolled in Medicare.
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 .
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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Replacing Your Expired Card
Well send you a new card about 4 to 8 weeks before your current card expires. You dont need to do anything. Well send it to the address we have for you.
Its important to tell us when you change address. If you dont and your card expires, your card will go to your previous address. Read more about how to update your Medicare details.
If you dont get your card, you can request a new one by:
You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card in the meantime. Read more about how to get a digital card.
Before You Apply For Medicare: What Youll Need
Before applying by any of these methods, its handy to have personal information and identifying documents ready.1 Which documents you need depends on your situation, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You may be asked to physically provide any of the following documents:
- Your original birth certificate or certified copy: This provides proof of your age.
- Proof of US citizenship or lawful alien status : You can do this with a US passport, Certificate of Citizenship, Green Card, etc.
- Copy of your US military service papers : The most commonly used is the DD Form 214.
- Copy of your W-2 form: A copy from the previous year is sufficient. This verifies the wages you received from your employer.
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What Are My Rights As A Medicare Beneficiary
As a Medicare beneficiary, you have certain guaranteed rights. These rights protect you when you get health care, they assure you access to needed health care services, and protect you against unethical practices.
You have these rights whether you are in Original Medicare or another Medicare health plan.
Your rights include, but are not limited to:
The Right to Receive Emergency Care
If you have severe pain, an injury, or a sudden illness that you believe may cause your health serious danger without immediate care, you have the right to receive emergency care. You never need prior approval for emergency care, and you may receive emergency care anywhere in the United States.
The Right to Appeal Decisions About Payments or Services for Medical Care
If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you have the right to appeal denial of a payment for a service you have been provided. If you are enrolled in another Medicare health plan, you have the right to appeal the plan’s denial for a service to be provided.
The Right to Information About All Treatment Options
You have the right to know about all your health care treatment options from your health care provider. Medicare forbids its health plans from making any rules that would stop a doctor from telling you everything you need to know about your health care. If you think your Medicare health plan may have kept a provider from telling you everything you need to know about your health care options, then you have the right to appeal.
Applying For Medicare With Our Free Assistance
Still concerned about how to sign up for Medicare? Dont want to go in it alone or feel unsure about your Medicare enrollment dates?
You dont have to submit your Medicare application alone. We are here to help you register for Medicare.
If Medicare will be your primary health insurance, and youd like a personal guide to take you from applying for Medicare all the way through to setting up your Medigap and Part D plans, we are your go-to source for help. Our service is free, and afterward you also get access to our Client Service Team for free for the life of your policy.
Get someone on your side contact Boomer Benefits for help with your plan options today!
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Applying For Medicare As Your Primary Coverage
If Medicare will be your primary coverage, you should enroll in Medicare in the 3 months before your birth month. Your Medicare will start on the first of the month in which you turn 65. Enrolling prior to your birthday will ensure your benefits begin on the first of your birthday month.
If you register for Medicare in the 3 months after your 65th birthday, then your start date will be later. People unaware of this could end up with a few months of no health coverage. Its important to realize that your application date affects your start date.
Also, if you are leaving employer coverage in the middle of your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, then your IEP trumps any other election period. Weve seen this a number of times where people assume their Medicare coverage will start immediately after the group coverage ends.
However, if you are in your IEP and your birth month has already passed, this chart demonstrates that you must wait for your coverage.
Its easy to see why applying for Medicare prior to your 65th birthday month is generally in your best interest. Although, it is ultimately your choice on when to apply.
Applying During the General Enrollment Period
Medicare Enrollment and Small Employer Coverage
Enrollment In Original Medicare And The Receipt Of Your Medicare Id Card Will Be Automatic If You Meet One Of The Following Conditions
- If you are turning age 65 and receiving Social Security Insurance or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, your Medicare ID card will arrive three months before your 65th birthday. Coverage usually begins the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, coverage usually starts the month prior.
- If you are under age 65 and have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, your Medicare ID card will arrive during the 25th month you have been receiving disability benefits. Coverage starts at the beginning of the 25th month you have been receiving disability benefits.
- If you have Lou Gehrigs disease and begin receiving your Social Security disability benefits, you will receive your Medicare ID card the first month your disability begins. Coverage also starts the first month your disability benefits begin.
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How To Apply For Medicare In Person
Some people prefer to apply for Medicare in person at a local Social Security office. This can be a convenient option if you are very close to turning 65 and need to get your application processed quickly.
Visit the Social Security website to search for the nearest office in your state. When you meet with a representative, ask for a printout which shows that you have applied for Medicare Part A & B. This form will give you all the information you need to move forward with your Medicare Supplement application and/or Part D prescription drug plan.
You can also ask the representative about your Medicare costs, if you paid the necessary payroll taxes for premium-free Part A, if you are subject to Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount due to having a higher income, and your payment options. For example, if you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you can pay a direct quarterly bill or you can pay online monthly.
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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Whats Covered Under Ramq
The public health plan in Quebec covers the full cost of the following medically necessary services at hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies, and CLSCs :
- Medical examinations and visits to a family doctor or general practitioner
- Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Certain radiology services that are provided by a medical practitioner
- Optometric services for children aged 17 and younger, or adults 65 and older
- $25 reimbursement for eyeglasses or contacts for children aged under 18
- Annual and emergency dental examination, x-rays, fillings, tooth or root extractions, and endodontics for children under the age of 10
- Certain oral surgeries performed at a hospital, except for tooth or root extractions, except for children under the age of 10 or individuals receiving financial assistance
Can You Get Private Insurance Instead Of Medicare
If you have Medicare Part A or Part B, insurers generally arent allowed to sell you a traditional individual health insurance plan .
You can purchase individual health insurance if youve never enrolled in Medicare because you think the overall costs are too high. If youre in the unusual situation of paying for Part A premiums, you can also switch to individual health insurance.
If you develop a medical condition before turning 65 that would qualify you for Medicare, such as ESRD, you can decline to purchase Medicare.
If you decide to purchase private insurance once youre eligible for Medicare unless youre continuing the employer-sponsored insurance that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period then youll have to pay the costly late enrollment penalty once you do apply.
If youre nearing the age of 65, then its important you start considering your Medicare coverage.
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Replacing Your Lost Stolen Or Damaged Card
If your Medicare card is lost, stolen or damaged, you can request a new card. You can do this by:
- calling the Medicare program.
Your new card will replace your old card. Youll have the same Medicare number that you did before, but your old card will no longer be valid. Well send your new card in 3 to 4 weeks. Well send it to the address you give us.
You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card in the meantime. Read more about how to get a digital card.
How To Apply For Medicare Part A
You can apply during the following times:
Your initial enrollment period
A special enrollment period
Medicareâs general enrollment period â January 1 to March 31 each year
Medicare Part A might be free if youâre eligible for or receiving federal retirement benefits. If you must pay for Part A and don’t sign up when you’re first eligible , youâll face a late enrollment penalty. You can avoid the late enrollment penalty if you meet the conditions for a special enrollment period.
Part A includes hospice care and inpatient care at a skilled nursing facility. Learn more about Medicare Part A.
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Replacing The Card If It Was Lost Stolen Or Damaged
An original Medicare card is usually red, white, or blue. When you lost it, or understand that you can no longer use it, there are several ways how to replace it:
In case you get some medicine from the HMO, PPO, PDP you need to call these departments. These plans are provided by Medicare Advantage Plan. So, these departments are responsible for replacement.
Some patients may receive a medicare card via the Railroad Retirement Board. In this case, the client must apply to the organization. The replacement Medicare card will be sent to the client within 30 days.
Pay attention that a new Medicare card will replace the old one. The old card wont be available anymore for any operations. Besides, the client can get a digital copy of the card. He can get it after getting a new plastic card.
Sometimes the clients may need proof that they have this kind of insurance policy. If it happens, it wont become a problem. Send a letter to the office for temporary proof. You will have to wait about 10 days to get the letter. If the situation requires instant measures, one can apply to the Social Security office and get confirmation there.
How Do I Order A Replacement Medicare Card
To make your online request, you will need your:
- Name as it appears on your most recent Social Security card
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
Your Medicare card should arrive in the mail in about 30 days.If you prefer, or if you are unable to use the online request to obtain a replacement Medicare card, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 .
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Born Elsewhere In Ontario Or Without A Registered Midwife
If your baby was born in an Ontario hospital without birthing facilities or without a registered midwife, you must apply in person at the nearest ServiceOntario centre:
- if you go within 90 days of the birthdate, bring proof of where your baby was born
- if you go more than 90 days after the birthdate, bring proof of your childs Canadian citizenship
If your baby was born at home without a registered midwife, you will require the babys Ontario birth certificate or an Ontario Statement of Live Birth for OHIP registration. You must also bring all of the following documents with you to the ServiceOntario centre:
When Will My Medicare Card Arrive
As mentioned, the process of applying for Medicare can vary depending on your particular situation and how you qualify for Medicare. This will affect the timing of when your Medicare card arrives in the mail as well. If youre already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits when you turn 65, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. Your Medicare card should be sent in the mail about three months before your 65th birthday. If you need to manually enroll in Medicare during your seven-month Initial Enrollment Period, the arrival of your Medicare card will depend on which month you signed up for Medicare. Your Initial Enrollment Period starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and ends three months later.
If you qualify for Medicare because of disability, your Medicare card will arrive in the mail three months before your 25th month of disability benefits.
If You Disagree With Our Decision
If you disagree with the decision we made about your income-related monthly adjustment amounts, you have the right to appeal. The fastest and easiest way to file an appeal of your decision is online. You can file online and provide documents electronically to support your appeal. You can file an appeal online even if you live outside of the United States.
You may also request an appeal in writing by completing a Request for Reconsideration , or you may contact your local Social Security office to file your appeal. You can use the appeal form online, or request a copy through our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 . You dont need to file an appeal if youre requesting a new decision because you experienced one of the events listed and, it made your income go down, or if youve shown us the information we used is wrong.
If you disagree with the MAGI amount we received from the IRS, you must correct the information with the IRS. If we determine you must pay a higher amount for Medicare prescription drug coverage, and you dont have this coverage, you must call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-MEDICARE to make a correction. Social Security receives the information about your prescription drug coverage from CMS.