Can I Apply for Medicare Online?
Many seniors approaching Medicare do not know or understand how to officially start their Medicare benefits. Many spend hours of their day going down to their local Medicare office to apply or waiting on hold trying to find out what they need to do next.
In this electronic age, applying for Medicare online is very easy and not as time consuming as it once was. You can start and stop your application, and the information is saved where you left off.
You can make corrections before you submit the application and then receive an online confirmation to keep for your records. You can also check the status online to see the progress.
Why do I need to apply for Medicare?
Sometimes Medicare enrollment is automatic upon turning 65. For this to happen you must already be receiving social security benefits, or railroad retirement benefits.
If this fits your situation, in most cases you will be enrolled into Original Medicare automatically. Original Medicare includes both Part A (hospital) and Part B (Medical).
You should receive your Welcome to Medicare package from Health and Human Services about 3 months prior to your 65th birthday.
Included in the Welcome to Medicare package will be information on how Original Medicare works, your Medicare card, and information about how Medicare Part D (drug coverage) works.
For people that are under the age of 65 and on disability, you will receive the Welcome to Medicare package around 3 months prior to your 25th month on disability.
Generally, this will happen automatically because you are already receiving social security benefits. Remember you should also investigate a Supplement and Medicare Part D plan to help cover the costs left over by Original Medicare.
Many people are working past the age of 65, and therefore not receiving social security benefits, or railroad retirement. In this case, you would need to sign up for Medicare benefits.
Normally, if you are not receiving social security or railroad retirement, Medicare will not be mailing you information.
You need to know what to do so you can apply on your own for your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your IEP for starting your Medicare Part A and B is 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and 3 months after your 3 65th birthday.
Failure to enroll during your IEP could result in monetary penalties and/or periods of not having health coverage. It is recommended you speak to a licensed insurance agent to ensure you know the best option(s) for your situation.
Applying for Medicare Online
Applying for Medicare online is a quick and easy 10-minute application process. You are not required to send in any information or documents to complete the application.
To apply online you need:
- To be 64 years and 9 months old.
- You must not be receiving social security retirement, disability or survivor benefits.
- You must want to enroll in Medicare and not be receiving any Medicare benefits currently.
For beneficiaries under the age of 65, or residing in one of the US territories such as Puerto Rico, you may not be able to apply online.
To enroll in Medicare online, simply go to the Social Security Administration website by clicking here. If you run into any issues or have questions while trying to fill out the online application, you should contact social security at 800-772-1213; TTY 800-325-0778. Their hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 7am to 7 pm EST.
If you worked for the Railroad and are eligible for benefits from the Railroad, you must enroll though the Railroad Retirement Board. They can be reached Monday – Friday from 9am – 3:30 pm EST, at 877-772-5722; TTY 312-751-4701.
What happens next with applying for Medicare online?
Once your application is complete it will be reviewed by Medicare to make sure all the information is accurate and complete. You should double check your contact information to ensure it is correct.
This is important in the event Medicare needs to contact you about your enrollment, and to ensure to prompt delivery of your Medicare Identification Card.
After your application is received and processed a letter will be mailed to you with the decision. If you encounter any questions or problems during the process you can always contact Social Security for assistance.
If you still have any questions on the enrollment process or your plan options, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. One of our licensed insurance agents can go over any coverage details and answer any questions that may arise.
They can assist you with choosing a Medigap, or Medicare Supplement plan, that will fill the costs left to you by Original Medicare.
Remember, Original Medicare does not cover your prescription drugs and we can help you with that as well, by completing a drug comparison on your behalf and providing you the information on which plans cover your needs the best.
To compare rates online in your area for Medigap, Medicare Advantage and/or Prescription Drug Plans, click here. Get piece of mind by getting ALL your healthcare cost covered.