As you approach the age of 65, one of the most important steps you can take is enrolling in Medicare. Medicare is a federally funded health insurance program that provides coverage for millions of Americans. Medicare has two main parts, Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospital stays, skilled nursing care, and some home health care. Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient services, and preventive care. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you enroll in Medicare Part A and B.
Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility
To be eligible for Medicare, you must be at least 65 years old, or have a qualifying disability. You can also qualify for Medicare if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Step 2: Learn About Your Enrollment Period
Your initial enrollment period (IEP) for Medicare is the seven-month period that begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after your 65th birthday. If you do not enroll in Medicare during your IEP, you may have to pay a penalty when you do enroll.
Step 3: Familiarize yourself with Medicare Part A, B, C and D.
When you are preparing for enrollment, you need to familiarize yourself with the difference between Medicare Part A, B, C, and D, as well as what they cover and the costs associated with each. This is an important step in understanding how you get coverage. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to make informed decisions. Here are some ways to learn more about Medicare:
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Prefer a visual aid? Watch this video on Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D. Medicare Basics: Breaking Down It’s Parts – YouTube
Prefer to read? Download the latest guide, Medicare and You 2023. This publication is released by Medicare each year to help explain Medicare, coverage, enrollment periods, and more.
Step 4: Decide Whether You Want Part A and/or Part B
Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A when they turn 65. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you will need to enroll in Part A and/or Part B on your own. There are some things you need to keep in mind when deciding on Medicare to avoid mistakes or penalties. Check out our latest blog on Things to Consider When Approaching Medicare Eligibility.
Step 5: Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B
To enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B, you can visit the Social Security website below, call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213, or visit your local Social Security office. You will need to provide your personal information, including your Social Security number. You will also need to provide your employment history if you worked past 65 and are applying for Medicare after your 65th birthday.
To apply for Medicare online, go to the Social Security Administration’s website at www.ssa.gov. Click on the “Apply for Medicare” button.
Create a “my Social Security” Account.
This account will allow you to apply for Medicare online and manage your Social Security benefits. To create an account, you will need to provide your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and other personal information. You can create a My Social Security Account here.
Complete the Medicare Application
Once you have created a “my Social Security” account, you can complete the Medicare application. The online application will guide you through the process of applying for both Part A and Part B. If you worked past 65 and maintained employer group coverage, you will need to provide information about your current healthcare coverage, as well as your employment history. This is done with CMS L564 – “Request for Employment Information”. See our blog on How Human Resources Should Handle Medicare’s Request for Employment Verification Form.
Review and Submit the Application
After completing the application, you will have the opportunity to review it and make any necessary changes. Once you are satisfied with the application, you can submit it online.
Wait for Your Medicare Card
After submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation message. You should receive your Medicare card in the mail within a few weeks. Your card will indicate which parts of Medicare you are enrolled in.
Step 6: Choose a Medicare Plan
Once you have enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), or a Medigap Plan. Speaking with an independent licensed agent is an important part of the process to ensure you compare all major plans in yoru area.
In conclusion, enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B is a crucial step to ensure you have the healthcare coverage you need as you age. Be sure to learn about your eligibility, enrollment period, and the enrollment process for both Part A and Part B. With this step-by-step guide, you can be on your way to enrolling in Medicare and getting the healthcare coverage you deserve.
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