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Where Do I Apply For Medicare Benefits

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Can I Apply For Medicare At Age 62 Or Do I Have To Be 65

Do I Have to Apply for Medicare?

Although you may be able to begin withdrawing Social Security benefits for retirement at age 62, Medicare isn’t available to most people until they turn 65. But if you are under the age of 65, you could be eligible for Medicare if you meet any of the following criteria.

  • You have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months.
  • You receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board and meet certain criteria.
  • You have Lou Gehrigs disease .
  • You have ESRD requiring regular dialysis or a kidney transplant, and you or your spouse has paid Social Security taxes for a length of time that depends on your age.

If none of these situations apply to you, you’ll have to wait until age 65 to begin receiving your Medicare benefits. However, you can begin the sign-up process three months before the month you turn 65 during your IEP .

Do You Need To Apply For Medicare

Most people do need to apply for Medicare. But if you reach age 65 and youre already receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, youll be signed up for Medicare Part A and Part B automatically.

And if you arent receiving retirement benefits and you dont have health coverage through an employer, you will need to apply for Medicare as you approach age 65. If you need to apply, Medicare gives you several options.

How To Apply For Medicare

You can apply online or sign up by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. If you’re still working at 65, here’s how it works.

If you are still working, age 65 or older, and covered by group health insurance:

When you turn 65, you should enroll in Medicare Part A even if you have health insurance from an employer. If you aren’t sure, check with your benefits department. Your group health plan usually becomes the secondary payor, with Medicare paying first. Unless your benefits department specifically tells you otherwise, you should apply for Medicare Part A.If you have not applied for Medicare yet, do so as soon as possible.

If you lose your group coverage, you can sign up for Part B during a special enrollment period . This situation may occur if you terminate employment after you reach 65. There is usually no late enrollment penalty if you sign up during the Special Enrollment Period.

For those who do not sign up at 65 and are not eligible for a SEP, Medicare has a general enrollment period each year from January 1 to March 31. If you apply for Medicare during this time, your benefits take effect July 1.

Once you enroll in Part A or Part B, you can enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan. If you’re enrolled in Part A and Part B, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

If you have Medicare Part A, and now need to start Part B:

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Differences Between Social Security Death Benefits And Social Security Survivors’ Benefits

People tend to generalize Social Security death benefits and Social Security survivors benefits and misunderstand them to be the same, but there are distinct differences between the two.

Retirees who have worked for 10 years or more while paying Social Security taxes earn their Social Security benefits, while Medicare benefits typically apply to retirees of age 65 and older, regardless of work history.

Social Security Administration manages the functions of the two programs. This means that anyone receiving Social Security Benefits gets an enrollment automatically into the Medicare program after turning 65.

The Social Security death benefit is a one-time lump-sum payment that leaves qualified survivors $255.

The Social Security survivors benefit is an ongoing benefit paid to qualifying family members of the deceased.

The more that person paid into Social Security in the form of taxes over their working years, the higher the survivors benefits will be.

How To Enroll In Original Medicare

How and when do I apply for Medicare? : Medicare Insurance

Before you begin the process of enrolling in Medicare parts A and B, you might consider what kind of Medicare coverage you ultimately need. These steps will help you prepare:

  • Find out if you were automatically enrolled in either Part A or Part B of original Medicare.
  • Decide whether you want Part B or if youd like to defer enrollment.
  • Review the Medicare Advantage plans in your area to see if those coverage options and costs work better for you than original Medicare.
  • If you decide to stay with original Medicare, consider your Part D options and whether a Medigap plan would be useful to you.
  • The SSA provides a checklist for Medicare applications that may be helpful. It lists the types of forms youll need for the process, including proof of military service, tax forms, and W-2s. Once you have all the information you need for applying, you can begin the process of signing up.

    You have several ways to enroll in original Medicare:

    • Online. You can visit to begin enrollment.
    • Call SSA at 800-772-1213 , Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • In person. Visit your local SSA office you can find it through the SSA office locator.
    • You can send a letter to your local SSA office with your name, your Social Security number, and the date youd like to enroll. They will send you necessary information and any additional requests for enrolling.

    Read Also: What Age Qualifies You For Medicare

    I Want To Sign Up For Only Part A Or Both Part A & Part B

    Once youre eligible to sign up for Medicare , you have 2 options:

  • Sign up to get only Medicare coverage.
  • Apply to start getting benefits from Social Security . Once youre approved to start getting benefits, youll automatically get Part A coverage. Youll choose if you want Part B coverage when you apply for benefits.
  • Once you sign up , youll get a welcome package with your Medicare card.

    Can I Sign Up For Medicare Plans Online

    Enrolling in Medicare coverage options online is generally easy and quick. More and more people are signing up online, according to an eHealth study. During 2018, about 16% of people in the study enrolled in Medicare coverage options online. Thats up from only 10% in 2017. In other words, about 60% more people in the study used eHealths online enrollment tool to sign up in 2018 than in 2017.

    Its interesting to note that online enrollment was even higher during Q4. Q4 means the 4th quarter of the year, October through December. Thats when Medicares Fall Open Enrollment happens for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans. Fall Open Enrollment goes from October 15 December 7 every year.

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    Medicare General Enrollment Period

    If you did not enroll during the IEP when you were first eligible, you can enroll during the General Enrollment Period. The general enrollment period for Original Medicare is from January 1 through March 31 of each year. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you did not sign up when you were first eligible.

    When Should I Sign Up For Medicare

    How To Apply For Medicare Online 2020 (Step by Step)

    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.

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    Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage Eligibility

    Like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement, Part D prescription drug coverage is provided by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. These plans accompany Original Medicare. Generally, you cant have a standalone Part D plan if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.

    To qualify for a Part D plan, you must meet the following requirements:

    • You must have both Part A and B .
    • You must live where plans are available.
    • You must pay Part A, Part B, and Part D premiums, if applicable.

    What Are The Two Enrollment Methods

    Automatic Enrollment

    If youre already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you dont need to enroll in Medicare. Youll automatically get Original Medicare as of the first day of the month you turn 65.

    Those who are automatically enrolled will receive a Welcome to Medicare packet, which will include your Medicare card, three months before turning 65.

    If you want a Medicare Supplement Insurance policy.

    If you decide you dont want Part B, you must return the Medicare card. If you keep the card, you keep Part B coverage and you will be charged the monthly premium.

    Note that if you live in Puerto Rico, you will only receive Medicare Part A automatically. You need to call Social Security at 772-1213 or TTY 325-0778 to apply for Part B if you want it.

    Manual Enrollment

    You will not get Medicare automatically if you are not already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, even if youre close to age 65. You need to apply for Part A and Part B if you want them using one of the methods mentioned here, even if youre eligible for premium-free Part A.

    The government expects you to know when to enroll. Be sure to apply for Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period unless you have current employment-based insurance coverage elsewhere. If you dont apply and sign up later, you will have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty for as long as youre enrolled in Part B.

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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

    When To Apply To Medicare

    Do I Qualify for Medicare if I Get Medicaid?

    If youre planning to enroll in Medicare, youll need to know several enrollment deadlines and dates:

    • Initial enrollment period. This is a 7-month window around your 65th birthday during which you can sign up for Medicare. It begins 3 months before your birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and extends 3 months after your birthday. During this time, you can enroll for all parts of Medicare without a penalty.
    • Open enrollment period. Medicares open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. During this window, you can switch from original Medicare to Part C, or from Part C back to original Medicare. You can also switch Part C plans or add, remove, or change a Part D plan.
    • General enrollment period. This enrollment period runs yearly from January 1 through March 31. You can enroll in Medicare in this timeframe if you did not enroll during your initial enrollment period.
    • Special enrollment period. If you delayed Medicare enrollment because you had private health insurance from an employer, you can later enroll in Medicare during a special enrollment period. You have 8 months from the end of your coverage or the end of your employment during which to sign up without penalty.

    Medicare Advantage also has a separate open enrollment period that runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. During this time, you can switch from one Part C plan to another or go back to original Medicare. But you cant go from original Medicare to Part C during this period.

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    Social Security Death Benefits And Funeral Coverage

    Medicare does not cover funeral costs or burial expenses. However, the insured may set up a Medicare Medical Savings Account , which allows certain flexibility for non-medical expenses. These are plans which annually add funds to a devoted bank account, truly meant to be used for Medicare-covered medically necessary services.

    If that money gets used up, MSA plans require account holders to pay out-of-pocket until reaching a high deductible amount.

    There is no premium for an MSA, but monthly premiums for Part B must continue to be paid. Certain plans allow one to designate a surviving beneficiary in the event of death.

    A Medicare Medical Savings Account allows unused funds to cover expenses such as funeral costs, albeit at a highly taxed and penalized rate. Funeral and burial expenses are considered ineligible expenses under an MSA because they are non-medical, but nonetheless the funds can be used for these purposes.

    Money from the account used for these types of expenses are taxed as part of yearly income, and are also subjected to an additional 50% tax penalty.

    Annual deposits made by the plan into the MSA before the current calendar year began go to the beneficiarys estate upon death.

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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.

    Learn more about how to enroll in Medicare by watching the third video in our Medicare Prepared Series.

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    Medicare Eligibility By Disability

    Most Medicare recipients under the age of 65 reach eligibility during their 25th month receiving Social Security disability benefits. If you qualify for Medicare because of a disability, your Initial Enrollment Period will begin during the 22nd month you receive these benefitsthree months before youre eligible for coverage.

    If You Disagree With Our Decision

    How Do I Apply for Medicare?

    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.

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    How Often Do You Have To Enroll In Medicare

    In general, once youre enrolled in Medicare, you dont need to take action to renew your coverage every year. This is true whether you are in Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare prescription drug plan. As long as you continue to pay any necessary premiums, your Medicare coverage should automatically renew every year with a few exceptions as described below.

    Medicare Eligibility Requirements For 2020

    Not sure if youre eligible for Medicare health insurance? The Social Security Administration enrolls some people automatically. But dont expect that or wait for your Medicare card to show up. Find out if youre eligible now so you can enroll at the right time and avoid any Late Enrollment Penalties .

    Theres more than one way to qualify for Medicare, and enrolling in the different parts of Medicare differ as well. Plus, how you qualify may determine how you can receive coverage and what your premiums might be.

    If youre looking for more of a crash course in the different parts of Medicare and how the program works as a whole, check out our Ultimate Medicare Guide. Otherwise, read on.

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