How Do I Get on Medicare?

Enrolling in Medicare isn’t as difficult as you may think.

Medicare Enrollment ChalkboardThough there’s a possibility that the age requirement will go up in coming years, Americans currently are eligible for Medicare benefits when they turn 65. Some people are eligible earlier due to disability or end-stage renal disease, but for most Americans Medicare coverage begins at age 65.

How Do I Enroll in Medicare?

If you’re not disabled and your eligibility begins at 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. If you become eligible for Medicare prior to reaching 65, you have a similar seven-month enrollment period starting three months before the month your Medicare eligibility begins.

During your enrollment window you can easily sign up for Medicare by visiting socialsecurity.gov.

If you enroll during the first three months of your initial enrollment period, your coverage should begin the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday falls on the first of the month, coverage should begin on the first of the previous month.

Waiting to enroll until after the first three months of your initial enrollment period have passed may cause your start date to be delayed.

Although your initial enrollment signs you up for Medicare Part A (hospital) and Medicare Part B (medical), some people decide not to keep Part B coverage. Giving up Part B coverage isn’t something to be done without serious consideration, so if you’re considering going without Part B, call MedicareMall toll-free at (877) 413-1556 for some expert advice to help you determine whether that’s a wise step.

During your initial enrollment period, you’re also eligible to sign up for Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D coverage.

Medicare Part C (also called Medicare Advantage plans) are optional Medicare plans offered by Medicare-approved private companies. Part C/Medicare Advantage plans replace your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage, and can also provide additional coverage in various areas of health including dental, vision, and hearing. Most Part C plans also include prescription drug coverage. Call MedicareMall to learn about Medicare Advantage plans available in your area.

Medicare Part D plans are voluntary prescription drug plans available to anyone enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B. Part D prescription drug plans can be added to Original Medicare or provided through Medicare Advantage plans.

If you don’t, or didn’t, sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period, you’ll still be able to enroll during any later year’s General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 – March 31. Coverage in this case begins July 1. You should note that you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty if you don’t enroll during your initial enrollment period.

You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) under certain conditions. Normally, enrolling in Medicare during an SEP doesn’t result in a late enrollment penalty.

Medicare can go a long way toward helping you maintain your good health—if you have the experience and knowledge to take advantage of it. If you have any questions about Medicare or Medicare supplement insurance designed to fill the gaps in Medicare coverage, why not give MedicareMall a call today? MedicareMall will save you money and lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze.

Is Medicare enrollment easier than you thought? Leave a comment letting us know!

How Do I Get on Medicare? © 2012 MedicareMall.com

 

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