Applying for Medicare can feel intimidating, but it’s easier than you might think. We walk thousands of people through these steps every year, so read on for everything you need to know to apply for Medicare.
The Social Security office handles applications for Medicare Parts A and B. They offer several easy options so you can choose how to apply. If you are aging into Medicare, you may apply as early as 3 months prior to the month of your 65th birthday. This is your Initial Enrollment Period.
When to Apply for Medicare
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. If you are a citizen age 65 or older and need medical insurance, you are entitled to enroll in Medicare.
Most people apply for Medicare Part A at 65. It can coordinate with your employer insurance even if you are still working. In that case, you can choose whether to enroll in Part B or delay your enrollment into Part B until later. Your group plan likely has outpatient benefits already built in, so you may not need Part B until you retire. Since Part B has a monthly premium that you will pay, delaying enrollment can save you money until you retire from your job.
When to apply for Medicare varies based on whether you still have access to other health insurance coverage. A careful evaluation of the costs of your employer coverage compared to costs of Medicare is recommended. If you are unsure, give us a call so we can help you analyze. Next we’ll look at HOW to apply for Medicare.
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. Just visit the social security website at www.ssa.gov and follow the links about applying for Medicare.
While you wait for your card to arrive, our friendly agents can help you learn your Medicare supplemental insurance options. 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 for Medicare online. Contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and tell the representative that you wish to apply for Medicare. Sometimes you will be helped immediately. If the volume of calls is high, Social Security will schedule a telephone appointment with you to take your application over the phone.
Your SS representative may send you some forms to complete. Generally these forms are simple. One caveat about phone applications for Medicare is that they take longer. The forms have to be mailed to you, and then you complete them and mail back. This can cause delays. Use the phone enrollment option only if you have a month or two lead time before your intended Medicare effective date.
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. 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.
When will I get my Medicare card?
In most cases, you will receive your Medicare card about 3 weeks after you apply. If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, your enrollment into Medicare is automatic. 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. There is significant financial exposure to you in the deductibles and coinsurance that you must pay. Working with an expert insurance agent will help you to identify Medicare supplemental insurance coverage that suits you.
Applying for Medicare with our FREE Assistance
Don’t want to go it alone? You don’t have to! If Medicare will be your primary insurance, and you’d like a personal guide to take you from applying for Medicare all the way through to setting up your Medigap and Part D plans, we are your go-to source for help. Our service is free, and afterward you also get access to our Client Service Team for free for the life of your policy.
Get someone on your side – contact Boomer Benefits for help today!
To continue learning Medicare, go next to: About Medicare’s Coverage