If you’re nearing the age of 65, it’s time to start thinking about signing up for Medicare. The process of signing up can be relatively easy — it’s figuring out your eligibility and keeping up with the different enrollment periods that may be a little confusing for some people. This guide will help you make the process easier to understand.
You can use the Medicare.gov eligibility calculator online to get an idea of when you’re eligible for Medicare. There are a few general rules when it comes to Medicare eligibility, though. You can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B if:
You must be a US citizen or permanent resident of five consecutive years.
Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for more information about your Medicare eligibility and to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
If you worked for a railroad, you need to call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772. TTY: 1‑312‑751‑4701, www.rrb.gov.
If you are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) retirement benefits when you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.
The same applies if you’re under 65 and disabled— you’ll be automatically enrolled on your 25th month of receiving Social Security disability benefits or certain disability benefits from the RRB. If you have ALS, your Medicare coverage begins on your first month of disability benefits.
If you have ESRD, you’ll need to manually sign up.
If you’re 65 or older, still working, and covered under a group health plan from either your (or your spouse’s) current employment, you may qualify for a special enrollment period.
This means that you can sign up for Medicare when your employer-based coverage ends without penalty. For more information on restrictions and qualifications for special enrollment, contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
There are other special enrollment situations and conditions that may qualify you to sign up for Medicare outside of your regular enrollment period.
Medicare beneficiaries have several choices for how they receive health care benefits. Private insurers offer coverage options for Medicare beneficiaries.
Signing up for Medicare doesn’t have to be complicated. Knowing what your options are, and when you need to enroll are usually the hardest parts. Use these tips and resources to help make sure you have enough time to determine what Medicare coverage fits your needs.
To discuss your options and find a Medicare Advantage plan in your area, call one of our licensed insurance agents today at TTY Users: 711.
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