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How to Enroll in Medicare
Many people wonder how to enroll in Medicare. Enrolling in Medicare is simple – your cards will be automatically mailed out to you three months before you turn 65, or in the 25th month you receive disability benefits. If you are not automatically enrolled in original Medicare, you can also enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B by doing any of the following:
- Visiting www.SocialSecurity.gov and signing up online
- Calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM
- Visiting your local Social Security office
*If you worked at a railroad, enroll in Medicare by contacting the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users 1-312-751-4701). You can call Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30PM, to speak to an RRB representative.*
Most people also enroll in a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan because original Medicare does not have a maximum out of pocket limit. This can leave you liable for large out of pocket costs. For example, if you receive a $100,000 medical bill, you will pay the full 20% or around $20,000. Our local agents can help you understand these plans, or you can get an online quote here.
Part A has a $0 monthly premium, and you are enrolled automatically. For most people the Part B premium costs $148.50/month, but that can increase with income. You can deny Part B coverage, but your monthly Part B premium could be 10% higher for every full 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B, but didn’t take it.
In order to deny Part B coverage, you can simply mail your cards back following the instructions you receive with the cards. You can also use the resources listed above in the “How to Enroll in Medicare” section.
If you are currently enrolled in qualified coverage through your workplace, you have the option to defer your Part B premium with no penalties.
Know Whether You’re Eligible to Enroll in Medicare
If you’re eligible, your enrollment period begins three months prior to your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and ends three months after your birthday. You, therefore, have a total of 7 months for your initial enrollment period.
Before you enroll in Medicare, you need to know the eligibility requirements. Medicare Part A coverage is available for most people aged 65 or older that have worked and paid Medicare taxes for about 10 years. The spouse of someone who has worked for at least 10 years is also eligible. You may also be eligible because of disabilities, permanent renal failure, or ALS. You’ll also be eligible for these health insurance programs if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
You can delay Medicare Part B enrollment if your employer already covers you. Before you do so, it’s crucial to confirm every detail with your employer’s health benefits administrator. If you don’t want to keep your Medicare Part B coverage, you can drop the coverage. You can do so by sending back the red, white, or blue card you receive from social security and notifying them in writing. If you choose to keep the cards, then you’ll have to start paying the required premiums.
How to Enroll in a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan
Looking through a list of possible supplement of advantage plans online can be confusing. An online quote generator does not understand your unique situation. Talk to one of our local advisors or get a quote by using the sidebar. Our local advisors are brokers and not simply contracted with one carrier. They have access to all of the best options available in your area. Our local agents will strive to do their best to earn your long-term business by being there for you every step of the way.
To learn more about these options visit our Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage page. For a basic understanding of Medicare, visit our page Medicare Basics.