Medicare is a federally-sponsored health insurance program designed for citizens and non-citizens aged 65 and above. Younger people living with disabilities and permanent kidney failure can also qualify for healthcare insurance. The healthcare insurance program offers financial relief to its active members by covering medical and other healthcare-related costs. Some people get automatically registered in the Medicare program, while others must register. Read on to discover the step-by-step guide to enrolling for Medicare Part A, Part D, and Part B.
What to Know Before You Get Started
Qualified Medicare candidates can register and activate their new accounts online on the Social Security website. You can call the offices directly via phone or visit the local Social Security office in person to register for a Medicare account. You’re at liberty to apply for Original Medicare coverage, Part D Medigap, or Medicare Advantage plan. Take note of the Medicare enrollment periods, and apply the earliest.
Guide on How to Enroll in the Various Medicare Plans
Medicare offers three primary plans with unique signup requirements. Each of the Medicare plans has unique enrollment periods. First-time Medicare members must beat the deadlines to avoid paying hefty fees and penalties.
Original Medicare (Part A & B)
You can enroll in this Medicare plan by filling out the online application available on the Social Security website. Similarly, you can visit the local social security office in person or call the social security phone number (1-800-772-1213). You’re supposed to enroll in this plan immediately or three months before your 65th birthday. Failure to submit the Original Medicare application on time will result in a 10% monthly premium penalty.
Medicare Advantage Plan
This Medicare plan can be applied by submitting the online application or calling the Medicare official number at 1-800-633-4227. You can also contact the provider directly or visit their offices in your locality. There are no penalties associated with the Medicare advantage plan, but applications are open from October 15th to December 7th every year.
Supplement Insurance (Medigap)
The final Medicare plan you can apply for is Supplement Insurance (Medigap). The Medigap policy can be applied online. You can also contact the State Insurance Department in your State or the State Health Insurance Program in your locality. It’s mandatory to apply for this Medicare plan six months before celebrating your 65th birthday. You should be enrolled in the Medicare Part B plan, too.
Decide Whether You’re Qualified and Ready
If you’re among the lucky guys who get automatically registered for Medicare Part A and B medical insurance, you don’t need to struggle filing out the Medicare insurance. Those registered automatically into the Medicare insurance plans enjoy Railroad Retirement Board and Social Security benefits for months before they celebrate their 65th celebrate. Most of those who qualify for Medicare insurance automatically are mainly those with disabilities or terminal diseases.
Those who haven’t been enrolled in the Medicare insurance program automatically need to plan and set the dates. You don’t want to delay submitting your application as the penalties are quite hefty. Once you hit 64 years, start planning your time and make sure you apply for the right insurance plan on time.
Know the Additional Requirements to Provide
If you’re not a Citizen of the United States, you might be required to provide more documents to ascertain your application. If you’re relying on your spouse’s work record to apply for the Medicare plan, you’ll also be required to provide additional documents. Similarly, if you have met the required age and want to transition from the current employer’s health coverage, you might be required to provide additional documents.
When you enroll in the Medicare plan and verify your account, you’ll get a package in your email and a Medicare card. The Medicare card arrival and packet can take approximately two weeks. Also, once you’re a verified and active Medicare member, you’ll get a Medicare & You handbook containing essential details of your coverage.
How to Apply For Part D Medicare Plan
The Part D Medicare plan covers your prescription medication. The plan is available to active Medicare members that want to add a prescription medication insurance policy to their plans. To get this Medicare plan, you must add your Medicare Prescription Drug policy to your existing Medicare-approved insurance policy.
In addition, you need to purchase the Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), including the PPO or HMO. Once you enroll in the Part D plan, you can change the plan at the prescribed times or under allowed circumstances. Failure to register within the given deadline will result in an enrollment penalty equaling 10 percent of your Medicare Part D premium.
How to Apply For Medicare Card
The Medicare card serves as proof that you’ve Medicare medical insurance. When you’re getting medication attention in a medical center that accepts the Medicare card, you’ll need to present it to enjoy the related benefits. You need to keep your Medicare card with you whenever you visit a doctor, hospital or pharmacy.
You don’t necessarily need to go through a designated application process to get your Medicare card. Once you enroll in the Medicare insurance, you’ll automatically qualify for the card, which is sent to you within two weeks after the Medicare application goes through.