Applying for Medicare
Applying for Medicare is far easier than you might first think. The Social Security office handles applications for Medicare, and they offer several easy options so you can choose how to apply. If you are aging into Medicare, you may apply as long as you are within 4 months of your 65th birthday.
When to Apply for Medicare
Many people are not sure about when to apply for Medicare, because they are unsure of whether their Social Security benefits enrollment and Medicare are linked. Although you do apply for Medicare at the Social Security office, your enrollment in Medicare is separate from your application for Social Security income benefits. People age into Medicare at age 65, regardless of whether they are taking retirement income benefits yet or not. If you are a citizen age 65 or older and need medical insurance, you are entitled to enroll in Medicare.
Most people enroll in Part A at 65 because it can coordinate with many types of group insurance. If you are still working and intend to stay on your employer’s group health plan, you can also delay your enrollment into Part B until later, since your group plan likely has outpatient benefits already built in.
So when to apply for Medicare varies based on whether you still have access to other health insurance coverage, usually through your job or a spouse’s employer. Check with your agent for guidance if you are unsure.
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; in fact many people begin their Medicare benefits. Just visit the social security website at www.ssa.gov and follow the links to apply for Medicare.
If more information is needed, you will be contacted. In the meantime, while you wait for your card to arrive, our friendly agents can help you learn your Medicare supplemental insurance options and get quotes so that you’ll be ready to set up the rest of your coverage by the time you get your card.
How to Apply for Medicare by Phone
Applying for Medicare by phone is just as easy as applying online. Contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and notify a representative that you wish to apply for Medicare. Sometimes you will be helped immediately. At other times if the volume of applicants is high, Social Security will schedule a telephone appointment with you to take your application over the phone.
Your SS representative may then send you some forms to complete if any are needed. Generally these forms are simple and short, but feel free to contact Boomer Benefits for assistance with any questions you may not understand.
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 office nearest you. Then 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 drug plan selection even before your Medicare card arrives.
When will I get my Medicare card?
In most cases, you will receive your Medicare card about 3 weeks after you apply. It’s important to note that if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, your enrollment into Medicare is usually automatic and your card will just show up in your mailbox about 2 months before you turn 65.
Applying for Medicare is just your first step. Medicare does not cover all of your medical costs, and there is significant financial exposure to you in the form of deductibles and coinsurance that you must pay. Working with an expert insurance agent to identify Medicare supplemental insurance coverage that suits you is very important.
The friendly and knowledgeable agents at Boomer Benefits make Medicare easy. If you would like our assistance to walk you through the steps of how to sign up for Medicare, please call our office today or complete our contact form and someone will call you. Help Me with Applying for Medicare.
To continue learning Medicare, go next to: About Medicare’s Coverage