Medicare Enrollment Forms
Although there’s a lot about Medicare that can be confusing, you’ll be happy to see how easy it is to enroll in Medicare.
When can I enroll?
Most Americans are first eligible for Medicare when they turn 65, though some people are eligible earlier due to disability. If you’re like the majority of Americans and become eligible for Medicare coverage at age 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.
How do I enroll?
You don’t need to go to your local Social Security office to apply for Medicare. The easiest way to apply begins by visiting the Medicare Online Forms web page here. Scroll down and click “Online Medicare Application.” Then click “Apply for Medicare” and you should be able to complete your application in 10 to 30 minutes. If you’re unable to finish your application in one sitting, you can save what you’ve done and return to complete and submit your application later.
Once your electronic application is submitted, all you have to do is wait. There are no documents to submit, and there’s nothing to sign. If the Social Security Administration needs further information to process your application, they’ll contact you. If you have questions to ask them, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE for information.
After applying, you should get a confirmation number, which you can use for checking the status of your Medicare application. If everything is in order, you’ll receive your red, white, and blue Medicare card by mail.
Because it often takes 30 to 60 days to get approved for Medicare, it’s important not to delay in applying. Remember, your application window opens three months before the month you become eligible for Medicare, so it’s best to apply as early as possible.
For further information about Medicare enrollment, click here. And be sure to check out other MedicareMall Learning Center resources to learn more about enrollment in the various parts of Medicare.
Your initial enrollment in Medicare signs you up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Once enrolled in Medicare Part B, as long as you’re 65 you enjoy a six-month Medigap Open Enrollment period. During this six-month period, no Medicare supplement insurance company can deny you a policy regardless of your medical history. You have guaranteed Medicare supplement (or Medigap) enrollment as long as you apply within six months of your enrollment in Medicare Part B. It doesn’t matter whether you enroll in Medicare Part B at age 65 or much later.
Your right to purchase a Medigap policy is absolute during this period, although a company may require a waiting period of up to six months before covering any pre-existing conditions for which you received treatment or medical advice from a physician within the previous six months.
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.