Apply for Medicare
The quick and simple way to apply for Medicare is online at: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/#anchor4
Applying online will take less than 10 minutes. You can also apply by phone 1-800-772-1213 or in person however this process can take weeks.
Typically you do not need any documents to apply for Medicare. If Social Security needs more information, they will reach out to you.
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All you pay for is the premiums, which are the same with or without our help.
When will I get my Medicare Card?
It takes a few weeks to receive your Medicare card once you apply. If you are receiving Social Security you will receive your card 1-2 months before you turn 65 automatically.
When can you Apply for Medicare?
You can apply for Medicare during your Initial Election Period (IEP). This is a 7-month window you have to enroll in Medicare.
We suggest that you apply for Medicare 2-3 months before your turn 65. That way you will have plenty of time to make any decision about Medigap plans, MedAdvantage or Part D Drug plans offered in Washington.
If you are already receiving Social Security you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B at age 65.
If you do not enroll in Medicare when you are first eligible you can get a late enrollment penalty when you do enroll.
When will Medicare Start?
The start date of your Part A and B depends on when you apply during your Initial Election Period (IEP). If you sign up before your 65th birthday it would start the 1st of your birthday month. If you sign up after your 65th birthday it will start the 1st of the next month unless you are signing up in the 3rd month it would start as of the 3rd month.
What if I am still working?
If you are still working with employer group coverage and turning 65 you have some decision to make about your Medicare benefits. Most people have a few options:
Keep your employer group coverage and enroll in Medicare.
Drop your employer health insurance and enroll in Medicare.
Delay enrolling in Medicare and stay on your employer group plan.
How do you choose what to do? It really depends on your plan offered at work and your cost sharing amount on that plan.
You can delay enrolling in Medicare if you have employer group coverage. As long as you have employer group coverage you should not have a Part B late enrollment penalty. You will want to verify with your employer that you also have creditable Part D coverage so you will not have a Part D late penalty.
A note about COBRA. The COBRA rules are very complicated and many people end up with penalties. Make sure to review the rules of when you have to enroll in Medicare if you are enrolled in COBRA.
A note about HSA. If you have an HSA you cannot contribute to the HSA bank account if you are enrolled in any part of Medicare. If you enroll in Social Security you will be automatically enrolled in Part A. Some people delay enrolling in Part A and Part B so they can still have HSA bank contributions. Others move off the employer group plan and into Medicare.
Wondering if you should stay on your employer plan or enroll in Medicare? Give us a call. We would be happy to review your coverage to see if enrolling in Medicare or staying on your employer plan is right for you.
Why apply alone? Our agents know all the ins and outs of Medicare. Call today and allow us to guide you through the process.