When to Enroll
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is seven months long. It starts 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday and 3 months after your birthday. For Example: DOB is October 3rd, your IEP would be July 1st through January 31st.
1. If you are now receiving your retirement benefits:
If you are retired and have Medicare and Group Health Insurance from your former employer Medicare will become the primary payee and your current group insurance will be the secondary payee, by working together the two plans will cover most health care costs.
2. If you are receiving disability benefits
You are automatically get Part A if you have been receiving social security or RRB disability benefits for the past 24 months.
How to Apply – In person or Online
When you apply for Medicare, you can sign up for Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage you can elect to decline the coverage; however, as previously mentioned you may then be faced with late enrollment penalty if you later decide the coverage is necessary. A late enrollment penalty can be 10% for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B but didn’t sign up for it. For Example: If your decided to sign up for Part D two years after your IEP, you would pay a 20% penalty for the entire life of the policy.
How to get started
1. Signing Up for Medicare
2. First, make sure that you are eligible.
3. When you are eligible, check if you can sign up automatically or manually.
4. Learn the various parts of Medicare; Part A and Part B – and what they cover.
5. If you don’t qualify for automatic enrollment, sign up for Medicare online via www.SocialSecurity.gov
6. You can additionally contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or make a personal visit to your local Social Security office.
Choose your Coverage
The two primary ways of obtaining a Medicare Insurance Plan is through Original Medicare Parts A & B or through a Medicare Advantage Plan (MAP) Part C. Part D Prescription drug plans are a supplemental Add-on benefit through Original Medicare but are typically included with a MAP. Remember with Part D there are penalty’s for not signing up within certain time frames. Make sure to check your available enrollment periods.