Many baby boomers approaching Medicare don’t know how easy it is to start their Medicare benefits. In the olden days, many new beneficiaries spent hours of their day going down to their local Medicare office to apply. Or they waited on hold for hours trying to find out what they need to do.
In this electronic age, applying for Medicare online is very simple. 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. You’ll receive an email confirmation upon submission to keep for your records. You can also check the status online to see the progress.
Applying 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, you’ll be enrolled in Original Medicare automatically. Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B.
You should receive your Welcome to Medicare package from Health and Human Services about 3 months prior to your 65th birthday.
For people that are under the age of 65 and on disability, you’ll receive the Welcome to Medicare package around 3 months prior to your 25th month on disability.
Generally, this will happen automatically because you’re already receiving social security benefits.
Medicare Application for Primary Coverage
If you plan on having Medicare as your primary coverage, you want to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your IEP is 3 months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and 3 months after your 65th birthday.
If you’re leaving employer coverage, your coverage will NOT automatically start after your group coverage ends. This is an all too common mistake among newer beneficiaries. Your IEP will have priority over any other election period.
The date you file for Medicare will impact the date your coverage starts. Applying for Medicare before your 65th birthday is highly recommended. This will prevent delays or gaps in coverage.
If you apply the month of your birthday, your coverage will begin one month after you sign up. If you apply one month after your birthday month, your coverage begins two months after you sign up. When you apply two+ months after your birthday, your coverage begins three months after you sign up.
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you’ll have to wait until the General Enrollment Period to apply. When you apply during the GEP, your coverage will begin July 1st.
Failure to enroll during your IEP could result in monetary penalties and/or periods of not having health coverage. Enrolling before your birthday will secure your benefits so that they begin on the first day of the month you turn 65.
Application for Medicare with Large Employer Coverage
If you’re still working, Medicare will coordinate with your employer group coverage. Any group coverage with an employer that has more than 20 employees will be your primary coverage. Medicare will become your secondary coverage.
In this scenario, you have the choice to enroll in Part B or delay it until you leave the group coverage. Since most group plans have outpatient coverage benefits, it can save you money to wait until after you retire to enroll in Part B.
At MedicareFAQ, we can help you figure out which option is best for you. We’ll compare the cost of your employer group coverage to both Parts A & B to see what makes most financial sense.
How to Apply for Medicare Online
Applying for Medicare online is a quick and easy 10-minute application process through to Social Security Website.
You don’t have to send in any information or documents to complete the application.
You can apply for retirement, Medicare, and disability. You can also check the status of your application and/or appeal, request a replacement card, and print a benefit verification letter.
If you need to apply for Medicare and Social Security retirement benefits, click here.
If you only need to apply for Medicare, click here.
Once you apply for Part B, give us a call so that we can help you choose a Medicare Supplement plan to cover what Original Medicare doesn’t.
If you’re not comfortable applying for Medicare online, you can do so over the phone.
How to Apply for Medicare by Phone
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 for Medicare 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.
This is also a good option if you need the application submitted ASAP. You can find your local SS officer here.
What happens after I apply 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.
When will I receive my new Medicare card?
If you’re automatically enrolled into Medicare, you’ll receive your Medicare card around two months prior to your birthday. If you applied for Medicare yourself, it should arrive within 3 weeks after your application is submitted.
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 here.
Don’t Apply for Medicare Alone
If you’re uncomfortable with applying for Medicare alone, we can help! Our services are completely free to you.
If you would like an agent by your side when applying for Medicare as your primary coverage, contact us.
We can walk you through setting up all your Medicare coverage, including Medicare, Medigap & Part D.
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.
To compare rates online in your area, click here. Or give us a call today at the number above. Get peace of mind by getting ALL your healthcare cost covered.