Apply for Medicare
Social Security makes it easy to apply for Medicare. You can sign up during your initial enrollment period and renew or switch plans each fall. The team at Better Insurance Management can help you sign up for the right Medicare plan. Contact us today.
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How to Apply
You can apply for Medicare through Social Security. Use the official Medicare website, call Social Security, or make an appointment with your local Social Security office.
Before you get online to enroll, have your identifying information ready and document your medical history. This will help prepare you to answer any medical questions and set you up for your Welcome to Medicare visit.
People who qualify for Medicare due to a disability are automatically enrolled after receiving disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months. Coverage begins in the 25th month of receiving benefits.
You will also be enrolled in Medicare automatically when you turn 65 if you are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits at least four months before you turn 65.
Prepare to sign up for Medicare before you turn 65. Your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months afterward.
The earlier you sign up during your initial enrollment, the sooner your coverage will begin. If you sign up in the three months before your birthday month, your coverage begins on the first day of your birthday month. If you sign up during your birthday month or the three months following, your coverage will be delayed by one month.
Special Enrollment Periods
You may be eligible for a special enrollment period if your circumstances meet certain criteria, such as losing your coverage.
One such instance involves people who are still working when they turn 65. If you still have group health insurance through your or your spouse’s employer when you turn 65, you can wait to sign up for Medicare Part B without facing the late enrollment penalty. Once you lose your coverage or end your employment, whichever comes first, you will have eight months to sign up.
The Part B late enrollment penalty is a huge motivator to sign up for Medicare on time. It adds 10% of the standard monthly premium to your monthly premium for every twelve months you went without Part B after you became eligible.
Annual Election Period (Open Enrollment)
Every year between October 15 and December 7, Open Enrollment (also called the Annual Election Period) opens so you can sign up for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Both of these plan types use one-year contracts, which helps you to optimize your pricing and coverage year after year. During this time, you can compare plans and renew, switch, or drop plans or return to Original Medicare.