Medicare is the administrative health care coverage program for Americans 65 and over. (It likewise covers more youthful Americans with specific disabilities and sicknesses, similar to end-stage renal illness.) Medicare consists of four distinct parts. Section An is insurance for clinic care and Part B covers specialists and outpatient care — consolidated, these are alluded to as Original Medicare Part C, called Medicare Advantage is an option in contrast to parts An and B that is given by private wellbeing safety net providers. Medicare prescription drug inclusion comes from Part D. Many people wonder how to apply for Medicare. However, one has to keep in mind that applying for Medicare is different for each part. On the off chance that you as of now get Social Security benefits, you can consequently get automatically enrolled in Medicare parts An and B. On other occasions you should round out an application and sign up yourself.
Table of Contents
- 1 How do I sign up for Medicare for the first time?
- 2 Applying for Medicare online
- 3 How to apply for Medicare?
- 4 What documents do I need to apply for Medicare?
- 5 When should you apply for Medicare?
- 6 Do I have to sign up for Medicare if I have private insurance?
- 7 Conclusion
How do I sign up for Medicare for the first time?
There are specific individuals who are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare. They are:
- Individuals who are 65 and older and are receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits
- Individuals who are younger than 65 and are receiving federal disability benefits, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
In case you are enrolled automatically, you will get your Medicare card or a “Welcome to Medicare” parcel with additional directions three months before your inclusion starts. As referenced, in case you are as of now accepting retirement benefits before you turn 65, you will be automatically taken on Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, on the first day of the month that you turn 65. In the event that your birthday falls on the first day of the month, your Medicare inclusion begins the first day of the month before your 65th birthday.
Recipients who are not getting retirement benefits when they turn 65 should physically select. You can pursue Medicare through Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board during your Initial Enrollment Period, which (as referenced) begins three months before your 65th birthday and lasts for seven months. You have various alternatives accessible with regard to applying for Medicare. A few groups choose to postpone accepting their federal retirement benefits. In case you are one of them, you will need to try out Medicare yourself through the Social Security Administration in one of a couple of ways:
- Get in tough with your local Social Security Office.
- Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (if you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call the TTY number 1-800-325-0778), between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772 if you worked for a railroad.
- Apply online at ssa.gov (which is the Social Security Administration website).
Applying for Medicare is genuinely clear — you simply need to give some personal data, such as your Social Security number, date and place of birth, and data about your present job and health care coverage plan.
In the wake of applying for Medicare through one of the strategies mentioned above, if there are no issues with your application, you ought to get your red, white, and blue Medicare card via the post office. In case you are enrolled automatically on Medicare, your card ought to show up a quarter of a year prior to your 65th month birthday or the 25th month of disability benefits.
As referenced, enlistment works distinctively with regard to Medicare plans, for example, Medigap, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage plans. Rather than selecting through Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you can discover and analyze Medicare insurance plans by directly reaching out to the insurance organization, visiting Medicare.gov, or reaching out to an authorized insurance broker like eHealth. Remember that expenses and advantages may fluctuate from one arrangement to another, and only one out of every odd arrangement might be accessible where you reside. On the off chance that you need assistance discovering Medicare plan alternatives that may work for your necessities, an eHealth authorized insurance agent can help. Contact eHealth to set up an appointment today and get your Medicare questions replied.
It is important to understand that the website and its substance are for instructive purposes only. Nothing on the site ought to at any point be utilized as a substitute for proficient clinical counsel. You ought to consistently talk with your medical provider with regard to finding or treatment for an ailment, including choices about the right prescription for your condition, just as preceding taking a particular exercise or dietary daily practice.
How to apply for Medicare Part A
For Medicare Part A, you can apply during these respective times:
- Your initial enrollment period
- A special enrollment period
- Medicare’s general enrollment period (which is from January 1 to March 31 every year)
Medicare Part A may be free in the event that you are qualified for or getting federal retirement benefits. In the event that you should pay for Part A and do not join when you are first qualified (during introductory enlistment), you will face a penalty for late enlistment. You can maintain a strategic distance from the late enrollment penalty in the event that you meet the conditions for a unique enlistment period. Part A incorporates hospice care and inpatient care at a renowned nursing office.
How to apply for Medicare Part B
Do I have to apply for medicare Part B? At the point when you apply for Medicare, you will be inquired whether you need to take on Medicare Part B. You do not need to select Medicare Part B (there is a premium). Part B covers outpatient care, similar to visits to a doctor’s office and preventive consideration. In case you are 65 years old and still working, you may have a group health plan through a current employer or the employer of a spouse. On the off chance that that is the situation, you probably would not require Part B inclusion or need to pay the expenses; you can defer trying out this piece of Medicare. At the point when you choose to go home and lose your employer sponsored health inclusion, you may fit the bill for a special enrollment period — which will permit you to pursue Medicare Part B without a penalty. In the event that you do not meet all requirements for a special enrollment period and did not pursue Part B when you were first qualified, you will take care of a late enlistment punishment. You will likewise need to stand by until the overall enrollment time frame (January 1 to March 31) to join.
How to apply for Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C plans, all the more normally known as Medicare Advantage plans, are offered by federally endorsed private insurers as options in contrast to Original Medicare (parts A and B). To get a Part C arrangement, you should initially get enrolled — and stay enrolled — in Original Medicare. You can look at Medicare Advantage plans on the Medicare site and afterward directly buy one from the safety net provider (insurer). You can do this during your underlying enrollment, special enrollment, and open enrollment period (annual election period) in the fall. In the event that you choose you need to get back to Original Medicare inclusion, you can drop Part C during Medicare Advantage disenrollment, which lasts from January 1 to February 14 each year.
How to apply for Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D plans are additionally sold through government-endorsed private health care coverage organizations, and just cover doctor prescribed medications. Like Medicare Part C, you should select Original Medicare first to purchase Medicare Part D. You can join during your underlying enlistment period, during general enlistment when pursuing Part B interestingly, or during open enrollment (yearly elections) in the fall when you can make changes to your current Medicare plans. Remember that you need to take care of a late penalty on the off chance that you go 63 days or more without prescription drug inclusion. (This is to a great extent identified with the way that Original Medicare does not cover drugs).
How do I apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?
Original Medicare recipients can buy a Medigap plan — or Medicare Supplement Insurance — to help pay for the cash based expenses related with Part A and B. Medigap plans are offered by private insurance organizations. You can shop during the Medigap open enrollment period — a six-month window that starts when you take on Medicare Part B. Contingent upon your state, you will be unable to discover a Medigap plan outside this period.
Applying for Medicare savings programs
Low-income Medicare recipients are qualified for programs that help cover cash based expenses. The Medicare Savings Programs gives expense help to Medicare Parts A and B. The program is directed through the state governments, so you need to apply through your state’s Medicaid office. The Medicare Extra Help program gives monetary help to prescription drug inclusion. You can apply for Extra Help on the Social Security Administration’s Medicare benefits page.
Applying for Medicare online
Medicare is controlled by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), yet you apply online through the Social Security Administration’s site. Here’s the secret:
- Visit the Medicare benefits segment of the SSA site.
- Click on the blue “Apply for Medicare Only” button.
- Complete the application. This commonly takes 10 to 30 minutes, however you do not need to fill it out all at once. When you start an application, you will get a reentry number so can enjoy a reprieve and log back in to complete without losing any data.
- Audit and submit your application. You will see a receipt on screen that incorporates your application number, which you can print out. You can utilize your application number to follow the situation with your application.
The following times are when the online application is available to be filled:
- Monday to Friday: 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST
- Saturday and holidays: 5 a.m. to 11 p.m EST
- Sunday: 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. EST
After you have submitted your application, the SSA will review it and get in touch with you if it requires more information or documents. If not, they will mail you a letter regarding the decision, along with your Medicare card.
How to apply for Medicare?
If you already receive benefits from Social Security:
In the event that you as of now get benefits by Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you are automatically qualified for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) beginning from the first day of the month you turn 65. You won’t have to effectively enroll. Your Medicare card will be sent to you around 3 months before your 65th birthday. On the off chance that your 65th birthday is April 20, 2021, your Medicare successful date would be April 1, 2021. (Note that if your birthday is on the first day of any month, Medicare Part A and Part B will be viable the first day of the earlier month. For instance, if your 65th birthday celebration is April 1, 2021, your Medicare powerful date would be March 1, 2021.)
If you are not getting Social Security benefits:
On the off chance that you are not getting Social Security benefits, you can apply for retirement benefits on the web. In the event that you might want to petition for Medicare only, you can apply by calling 1-800-772-1213.
If you are under age 65 and disabled:
On the off chance that you are under age 65 and disabled, and have been qualified for disability benefits under Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for two years, you will be automatically qualified for Medicare Part A and Part B starting the 25th month of disability benefit privilege. You would not have to effectively take on Medicare. Your Medicare card will be sent to you around 3 months before your Medicare privilege date. (Note that if you are under age 65 and have Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), you get your Medicare benefits in the first month when you get disability benefits by Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.) For more data about enlistment, you can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the Social Security site.
What documents do I need to apply for Medicare?
At the point when you apply for Medicare, you may have to give a few documents that show you are qualified and eligible for the program. At times, Medicare and Social Security may already have some of this data; notwithstanding, you will be required to give any data they do not have. For example, you might need to present documents that prove your:
- income history
- military service
You will have to give original copies of the supporting records on the off chance that you have them. Try not to worry — you can apply for new original copies of any records you presently do not have. You will have to demonstrate that you are qualified for Medicare when you first enroll. Now and again, Medicare may, in some cases, already have this data. In case you are now accepting Social Security retirement benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance, you will not have to present any extra documentation. Social security and Medicare will as of now have all the data they need to deal with your enrollment.
In the event that you do not get any sort of Social Security benefits, you will need to give documentation to try out Medicare. You can enroll yourself online, via telephone, or face to face at a Social Security office. Regardless of how you apply, you will need to give certain data. By and large, this incorporates:
- your Social Security number
- your date of birth
- your place of birth
- your citizenship status
- the date and place of any marriages or divorces you have had
- the name and Social Security number of your current spouse and any former spouses
- the names and ages of your children (if you have any) who are under 18 years of age (children who are up 19 years old and are still in high school also need to be mentioned)
- the names and ages of any children you have who had a disability before age 22
- the name and address of any employer you have had in the past 2 years
- the amount of money you have earned in the past 2 years (if you are applying between September and December, you will also need to estimate next year’s earnings)
- if you have ever previously applied for Social Security benefits, or if anyone else has ever applied for you
- the dates of any military service you had before 1968
- information regarding any federal pension you receive now or will receive in the future
- information regarding any Social Security work credits you have earned in another country
- information regarding any work you or a spouse has done for the railroad industry
The majority of this data can be given essentially by rounding out the application. A few subtleties, however, will require additional documentation. These archives may include:
- your original birth certificate or a duplicate that has been affirmed by the responsible office, for example, the state you were born in
- on the off chance that you do not have a record of your birth, different documents to demonstrate your age, for example, your vaccination records, school records, state census records, insurance records, or clinical records
- on the off chance that you were born outside the United States, verification of your U.S. citizenship like your U.S. visa, a Naturalization Certificate, a Certificate of Citizenship, or a U.S. consular report of birth
- in case you are not a U.S. resident, verification of lawful residency — including your Permanent Resident Card, regularly called a green card, and your confirmation flight record, on the off chance that you have it
- in the event that you had military help before 1968, a record of your administration, for example, your release papers
- your W-2 or information regarding self-employment tax, from the previous year
- a record of your income, like your Social Security statement
You probably would not require each one of these documents, however it is a smart thought to have as numerous of them prepared as you can. Social security will tell you what is required. Any reports or documents you send ought to be originals. Social security will acknowledge duplicates of W-2s, tax archives, and clinical records, however all the other things should be an original report. Social security will send the documents back to you after they are checked on.
You will have to give the reports recorded above when you join up with Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). Together, parts A and B are known as original Medicare. You will have to select the original Medicare before you can take on some other Medicare parts. Other Medicare parts include:
- Medicare Part C, also called as Medicare Advantage
- Medicare Part D, which is prescription drug coverage
- Medicare supplement insurance usually known as Medigap
You should not have to present any extra documentation when you try out these different parts. You will simply be required to give your Medicare number and your Medicare Part A starting date. Furthermore, you can find your Medicare number and Part A starting date on your Medicare card.
When should you apply for Medicare?
Enrolling with Medicare is not generally a once-and-done process. At the point when you become qualified, there are many points when you can pursue each one of Medicare’s parts. For a great many people, pursuing Medicare happens during a 7-month initial enrollment period, also known as IEP. The IEP begins 3 months before you turn 65 years old and proceeds for a very long time after your birthday. Indeed, even in light of this time period, getting Medicare right can be befuddling and may likewise cost you in penalties on the off chance that you fail to understand the situation.
In case you are pondering when you ought to enroll at Medicare Part A and Part B, the circumstance of your Initial Enrollment Period will rely upon how you fit the bill for Medicare:
- Turning 65: If you are qualified for Medicare as a result of age and are now getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits before you turn 65, you will be automatically tried out Medicare Part An and Part B on the first day of the month that you turn 65. In case you are not yet accepting retirement benefits, you can physically select Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, the seven-month time frame that begins three months before you turn 65, incorporates your birthday month, and finishes three months later.
- Disability: If you qualify in view of disability, you will be automatically be enrolled at Medicare Part A and Part B in the 25th month of getting disability profits by the Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s sickness): If you fit the bill for Medicare because you have Lou Gehrig’s illness, you are automatically selected the same month that your disability benefits start.
- End-stage renal disease (ESRD): For people who meet all requirements for Medicare as a result of end-stage renal disease, enrollment works diversely and may rely upon your particular circumstance. Contact Medicare for more data at 1-800-633-4227, 24 hours per day, seven days every week (TTY clients, call 1-877-486-2048).
In the event that you missed your Initial Enrollment Period, you can likewise pursue Medicare Part A and Part B during the General Enrollment Period that happens from January 1 to March 31 consistently. Remember that you may owe a late-enrollment punishment for Medicare Part A as well as Part B on the off chance that you did not join when you were first qualified.
You may choose to defer enrollment in Medicare Part An and additionally Part B on the off chance that you were working when you turned 65 and covered through your employer’s group inclusion, or you had wellbeing inclusion through your spouse’s present business. In the event that you stand by to join up with Medicare Part A and additionally Part B thus, you will get an eight-month Special Enrollment Period to pursue Medicare that begins the month after you quit working or after the business supported inclusion closes, whichever happens first. You will not owe a late-enrollment punishment on the off chance that you pursue Medicare through a Special Enrollment Period. Remember that only people with wellbeing inclusion through current work may postpone Medicare Part A or potentially Part B without taking care of a late-enrollment punishment. COBRA or retiree health inclusion does not consider “current” business and will not qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.
Regarding Medicare plans like Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, or Medigap plans, each sort of inclusion has its own standards with regard to qualification and enrollment.
Do I have to sign up for Medicare if I have private insurance?
In the event that you are paying for your own insurance, you may figure you do not have to pursue Medicare when you turn 65. Be that as it may, not pursuing Medicare Part B immediately can cost you as it were. You would first be able to pursue Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, which is the seven-month time frame that incorporates the three months before the month you become qualified (generally age 65), the month you are qualified and three months after the month you become qualified. In the event that you do not pursue Part B immediately, you will be required to pay a penalty. Your Medicare Part B expense may go up 10% for every 12-month time span that you might have had Medicare Part B, however did not take it. Likewise, you will have to wait for the general enrollment period to enroll. The overall enrollment period as a rule runs between January 1 and March 31 of every year.
There are exemptions for the penalty in the event that you have insurance through a business or through your spouse’s employer, yet there is no special case for private insurance. The medical coverage should be from a business where you or your mate effectively works, and surprisingly at that point, if the business has less than 20 employees, you will probably need to pursue Part B. In the event that you do not have an employer or union group health care coverage plan, or if that arrangement is secondary to Medicare, it is critical to pursue Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period. Note that COBRA inclusion does not consider a health care coverage plan for Medicare purposes and neither does retiree inclusion nor VA benefits.
Medicare is a public health care coverage program in the United States, started in 1966 under the Social Security Administration (SSA) and now regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It essentially gives medical coverage to Americans that are 65 years or older, and also for some more youthful individuals with disability status as controlled by the SSA, and individuals with end stage renal sickness and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s illness).
You can start to apply for Medicare three months before you turn 65 years of age. On the off chance that you choose not to enroll at Medicare when you are first qualified, you should trust that another enrollment period will do as such. You may likewise confront a penalty for late enrollment for certain pieces of Medicare relying upon your conditions. The Medicare program is not equivalent to Medicaid, which gives inclusion to low-income Americans.