Applying for Medicare has never been easier! Turning 65 is an exciting time in your life. Not only are you getting wiser than perhaps you were in previous years, but you’re eligible to apply for Medicare benefits!
Many moons ago, the application process for Medicare was a HUGE undertaking. These days, applying proves to be much simpler and less time-consuming. Thanks to today’s technology, you can save time and sanity when you’re finally ready to enroll!
How to Apply for Medicare
Medicare enrollment is as easy as ever. You’ll have a few different options available for you when you’re ready to enroll. Once you meet eligibility requirements on your end, you’re good to go.
Some beneficiaries can receive automatic enrollment, and some have to apply manually.
There are three ways to apply for Medicare Part A & Part B:
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. The phone lines are open Monday through Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM.
- Fill out an online application at SocialSecurity.gov.
- Visit a local Social Security office in person.
If you’re a previous employee of a railroad, you can enroll in Medicare through contacting the Railroad Retirement Board, Monday – Friday, from 9 AM – 3:30 PM at 1-877-772-5772.
Medicare applications generally take between 30-60 days to obtain approval. You can locate the Medicare application and other enrollment forms online, for easy access.
You can also complete an application over the phone if you prefer to speak with a live representative or in-person at a local Social Security office.
How to Apply for Medicare Online
Yes, applying for Medicare online is a quick and easy 10-minute application process through to Social Security Website.
You can also check the status of your application and/or appeal, request a replacement card, and print a benefit verification letter.
Once you apply for Part B, give us a call so that we can help you choose a supplement plan to cover what Medicare doesn’t.
If you’re not comfortable applying for Medicare online, you can do so over the phone.
How do I Speak to a Person at Medicare
Just like applying online, apply for Medicare by phone is easy. You can contact a representative at 1-800-772-1213.
Depending on the volume of calls, there might be a wait time. If the wait time is above the average wait time, you can schedule an appointment time to have a representative call you.
The only downfall with applying for Medicare by phone is that it can take longer than compared to doing it online. If you’re ahead of the game and start well before your birthday, then applying by phone shouldn’t cause any issues.
If you don’t like the idea of applying online or by phone, you can choose to do so in person.
Apply for Medicare at Your Local Social Security Office
You can apply for Medicare in person at your local Social Security office if it’s more convenient. Their website has a zip code lookup tool that will show you the closest office near you.
You can find your local Social Security office.
When to Apply for Medicare
If you’ve missed your Initial Enrollment Period window, your second chance to apply is during the General Enrollment Period. The window for the GEP begins January 1st and runs through until March 31st, every year.
There are also many different qualifying events that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
How Long Before Your Turn 65 do You Apply for Medicare?
Application for Medicare with Employer Coverage
Can you still enroll in Medicare coverage, even if you’re not yet seeking retirement? The answer is yes! You can coincide with your group coverage through your employer with Medicare coverage.
If your employer has more than 20 employees, your group coverage will work as your primary insurance, and Medicare will be your secondary insurance.
You can choose to apply for Part B, or you can wait until leaving your employer group coverage. For more information on the benefits of obtaining Medicare while receiving group coverage through work, give our team a call, and we can review the pros and cons.
Sometimes beneficiaries don’t want to apply for Part B when they first become eligible because of employer health coverage. Should you lose your health insurance through your employer, or you prefer to switch over to Medicare, you can apply any time while receiving coverage through your employer.
Medicare Application Forms
There are many different forms that you can access on Medicare.gov. You can find Medicare application & enrollment forms, as well as appeal forms online.
What Documents Do I Need to Apply for Medicare
To begin the application process, you’ll need to ensure you have the following pieces of documentation to prove identity:
- A copy of your birth certificate
- Your driver’s license or state I.D. card
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of legal residency
You may need additional documents as well. Make sure to have on hand:
- Your Social Security card
- W-2 forms if still active in employment
- Military discharge documents if you previously served in the U.S. military before 1968
- Information about current health insurance types and coverage dates
Don’t Register for Medicare Alone
If you’re uncomfortable with applying for Medigap alone, we can help! Our services are completely free for you.
If you would like an agent by your side when applying, contact us.
We can walk you through setting up all your coverage, including Medicare, Medigap, Part D, & more.
Plus, when you use us to apply, you get limitless support for our Client Service Team. That means if you have any issues with claims or appeals, we can help at no additional cost.
You can compare rates online or give us a call today at the number above.
In most circumstances, you’ll get a Medicare I.D. card several weeks after your initial application. Waiting times can extend up to 90 days, however.
Automatic enrollment is a possibility., however, if you already get Social Security benefits – in this case, a Medicare I.D. card will show up in your mailbox about two months before turning 65.