How Do I Apply For Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage plans provide the same benefits as Original Medicare, and many plans may offer additional benefits that Original Medicare doesnt cover.
If you are eligible for Original Medicare, you may also be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan. To find out more about your eligibility and to compare plans that are available where you live, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.
You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.
Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area
When To Enroll In Medicare If I Am Receiving Disability Benefits:
If you are under 65 and receiving certain disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, after 24 months of disability benefits. The exception to this is if you have end-stage renal disease . If you have ESRD and had a kidney transplant or need regular kidney dialysis, you can apply for Medicare. If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , you will automatically be enrolled in Original Medicare in the same month that your disability benefits start
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.
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How Long Before You Turn 65 Do You Apply For Medicare
May 8, 2021 / 1 min read / Written by Jason B.
Initially, there is a 7-month enrollment period, where a person can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or B. The details of this window are:
- It begins 3 months before turning 65
- Includes the month you turn 65
- Closes 3 months after turning 65
If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare upon turning 65.
If you are new to Medicare, there are plenty of resources to help you make the best decision for your medical needs. A Medicare representative can help you to understand any of the following areas you may have questions on:
- When and if you qualify for Medicare
- What Medicare covers
- How Medicare works with other Insurances
- Assistance with Medicare costs
To speak to a representative or schedule an in-person appointment, call 1-800-MEDICARE . TTY users 1-877-486-2048. You can also apply for Medicare with the online application.
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.
NEW TO MEDICARE?
When Can You Sign Up Outside Of The Initial And General Enrollment Periods
You could qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and avoid the penalty for enrolling late. SEPs are typically granted if you or your spouse are still working when you turn 65 and you have group health insurance through an employer or union.
In that case, youre allowed to enroll in Part B at any time you have qualified group health coverage and youve turned 65. Once you no longer have coverage, you can enroll during the eight-month SEP period that starts the month after you lose the job or the coverage, whichever comes first.
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Sign Up For A Mymedicaregov Account
After you sign up for Medicare, you can create a MyMedicare.gov account to manage your coverage.
With your MyMedicare.gov account, you can:
- Get details about the plans youre enrolled in and what they cover.
- Update your personal information.
Creating an account on MyMedicare.gov is quick and easy.
How to Sign Up for MyMedicare.gov
Who Does Not Have To Apply For Medicare
If you already receive Social Security benefits or Railroad retirement benefits before turning age 65, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. You dont need to do anything or apply online.
Your red white and blue Medicare card will be mailed to you approximately 60-90 days before your effective date. Your Medicare card will have your name, Medicare Beneficiary Identifier number and coverage effective dates for Part A and Part B.
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When Do I Sign Up For Medicare Advantage
Before you sign up for Medicare Advantage, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage vs. Medicare Supplements. If you choose to sign up for Medicare Advantage, you can do so during your IEP.
If you missed your IEP, you can join during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. For those currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you also have another opportunity to make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
When Is The Medicare Advantage Plan Annual Election Period:
You can also add, drop, or change your Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election Period, which occurs from October 15 to December 7 of every year. During this period, you may:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, and vice versa.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different one.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescription drugs, and vice versa.
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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.
When To Apply To Medicare
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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Consider Which Medicare Plan Meets Your Needs
When reviewing Medicare coverage plans, its important to consider how your choices may impact your cancer care and finances. For instance, choosing original Medicare allows you to see any doctor you want, but can bring significant out-of-pocket costs. However, a Medicare Advantage plan limits your choice of doctors but tends to be less expensive. Consider whether you are willing to switch doctors. Be sure to ask any doctor you plan on seeing what plans they accept.
If you regularly take prescription medication, be aware that original Medicare does not offer drug coverage. You will need to buy Part D or choose from among the Medicare Advantage plans for that type of coverage. However, not all Advantage plans include drug coverage, and costs can be very different from plan to plan. Whatever plan you choose, make sure that it meets your health care needs and your budget.
And again, enrollment deadlines matter. While you can generally buy coverage after enrollment deadlines pass, you dont want those permanent penalty fees to be added to your plan costs. So, do your best to meet the deadline dates.
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?
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Can I Apply For Medicare At Age 62 Or Do I Have To Be 65
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 .
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:
Once you sign up , youll get a welcome package with your Medicare card.
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How To Sign Up For Medicare Advantage: When Can I Enroll
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is another way to receive Original Medicare benefits and is offered through private insurance companies that have contracts with Medicare. At minimum, all Medicare Advantage plans must offer the same Medicare Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. You must have Original Medicare, Part A and B, to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurer.
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during two enrollment periods, the Initial Coverage Election Period and Annual Election Period.
When To Apply For Medicare
If youre wondering when you should enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B, the timing of your Initial Enrollment Period will depend on how you qualify for Medicare:
- Turning 65:If youre eligible for Medicare because of age and are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits before you turn 65, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B on the first day of the month that you turn 65. If youre not yet receiving retirement benefits, you can manually enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, the seven-month period that starts three months before you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and ends three months later.
- Disability: If you qualify because of disability, youll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B in the 25th month of receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis : If you qualify for Medicare because you have Lou Gehrigs disease, youre automatically enrolled the same month that your disability benefits begin.
- End-stage renal disease : For individuals who qualify for Medicare because of end-stage renal disease, enrollment works differently and may depend on your specific situation. Contact Medicare for more information at 1-800-633-4227, 24 hours a day, seven days a week .
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You Automatically Get Medicare When You Turn 65
- Well mail you a welcome package with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare coverage starts.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months of turning 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
Medicare Part A Enrollment Deadlines
Some people get enrolled in Medicare Part A automatically. If you meet one of the following conditions, you may be enrolled in Medicare Part A three months prior to your 65th birthday or during the 25th month of your disability, depending on circumstance:
- You currently receive benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security
- You are younger than 65 and have a disability
- You have been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- You live in Puerto Rico and draw benefits from the Railroad Board or Social Security
Those who meet the above qualifications wont need to worry about enrollment deadlines.
If you are enrolled into Medicare Part A automatically due to health conditions or retirement status, you dont have to do anything. But if not, your ability to enroll in Medicare begins three months prior to your 65th birthday and ends three months after the month you turn 65. Essentially, you have a total of seven months to enroll in Medicare when you first become eligible.
If you dont enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period , then you may be charged a penalty fee if you enroll later. Penalty fees are assessed for as many months as you lacked Medicare coverage this sum can add up over time. Numbers and dates tend to run together for some people. So, lets take a look at an example to give you an idea of the reality of Medicare Part A deadlines.
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How To Enroll In Medicare Online
To be clear, you dont have to sign up for Medicare online. You can do so over the phone or in person, but if youre looking to save time, completing an online application is probably the best way to go.
The first step in enrolling in Medicare online is creating an account on the Social Security Administrations web site. You do not need to sign up for Social Security at the same time as Medicare, so if thats not your plan, worry not. Youll be asked whether you wish to enroll in one program or both during the signup process.
Next, youll need to provide some basic information like your name, address, and telephone number, and youll also need your Social Security number to complete your application. In addition, youll need information that helps identify you, such as your birth certificate, drivers license, or proof of U.S. citizenship if you werent born in the U.S. If youre not a citizen, youll need your permanent resident card number.
Delaying Part B Coverage And Late Enrollment Penalties
You should enroll in Part A when youre first eligible near your 65th birthday, but some people may choose to delay Part B.
If you receive group health insurance at work or through your spouses employer you may be able to delay enrollment in Part B.
But once you stop working or that coverage ends, you must sign up for Part B within eight months. Otherwise, youll face a late enrollment penalty.
If you enroll in Part B after your group health insurance ends, you have options for how to apply.
You can do so online through an application on the Social Security website or by mail.
How to Sign Up for Part B by Mail After Employer Health Insurance Ends
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