What Documents Do I Need To Enroll In Medicare
Youll need to prove that youre eligible for Medicare when you first enroll. In some cases, Medicare might already have this information.
If youre already receiving Social Security retirement benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance, you wont need to submit any additional documentation. Social Security and Medicare will already have all the information they need to process your enrollment.
If you dont receive any kind of Social Security benefits, youll need to provide documentation to enroll in Medicare.
You can enroll online, over the phone, or in person at a Social Security office. No matter how you apply, youll need to provide certain information.
Generally, this includes:
Most of this information can be provided simply by filling out the application. Some details, though, will need extra documentation. These documents may include:
You might not need all these documents, but its a good idea to have as many of them ready as you can. Social Security will let you know whats needed.
Any documents you send should be originals. Social Security will accept copies of W-2s, tax documents, and medical records, but everything else needs to be an original document.
Social Security will send the documents back to you after theyre reviewed.
You Automatically Get Medicare When You Turn 65
- Well mail you a welcome package;with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare coverage starts.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months of turning 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
How Do Medicare And Social Security Work Together
Youll get Medicare automatically if youre already receiving Social Security retirement or SSDI benefits. For example, if you took retirement benefits starting at age 62, youll be enrolled in Medicare three months before your 65th birthday. Youll also be automatically enrolled once youve been receiving SSDI for 24 months.
Youll need to enroll in Medicare if you turn 65 but havent taken your Social Security benefits yet. The Social Security Administration and Medicare will send you a Welcome to Medicare packet when youre eligible to enroll. The packet will walk you through your Medicare choices and help you enroll.
SSA will also determine the amount you need to pay for Medicare coverage. You wont pay premiums for Part A unless you dont meet the coverage rules discussed above, but most people will pay a premium for Part B.
In 2020, the standard premium amount is $144.60. This amount will be higher if you have a large income. Social Security uses your tax records to determine the rates you need to pay.
If you make more than $87,000 a year, SSA will send you an Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount . Your IRMAA notification will tell you the amount above the standard premium you need to pay. Youll also be responsible for an IRMAA if you choose to buy a separate Part D plan and you make over $87,000.
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If You Are Under Age 65 And Disabled:
If you are under age 65 and disabled, and have been entitled to disability benefits under Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, you will be automatically entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B beginning the 25th month of disability benefit entitlement. You will not need to do anything to enroll in Medicare. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your Medicare entitlement date. , you get your Medicare benefits the first month you get disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.) For more information about enrollment, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit the;Social Security web site. See also;Social Security’s Medicare FAQs.
For more information, see;Medicare.gov
If You Already Receive Benefits From Social Security:
If you already get benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn age 65. You will not need to do anything to enroll. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about 3 months before your 65th birthday. If your 65th birthday is February 20, 2010, your Medicare effective date would be February 1, 2010.
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At What Age Do I Qualify For Medicare
Medicare eligibility for seniors begins at age 65 . Your initial enrollment period for Medicare begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday, and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
If you miss your initial Medicare enrollment window, you can sign up during the general enrollment period of January 1 through March 31 of each year. But holding off too long could cost you. If you wait too long to sign up for Medicare Part B, youll face a 10 percent increase in your Part B premiums for every year-long period you were eligible to enroll but didnt. There are also financial implications associated with waiting too long to sign up for a Part D drug plan.
That said, if youre still working and have coverage under a group health plan during the seven-month period surrounding your 65th birthday, youll get a special enrollment period that begins when you separate from your employer or your group coverage ends. As such, you wont have to worry about the aforementioned penalties provided you sign up during your special enrollment period.
Should I Sign Up For Medicare Part A
Most people who have worked and paid Medicare taxes for 10 years can get Medicare Part A with no monthly premium. Because of this, many people choose to sign up for Medicare Part A even if they have health insurance through work.
Medicare Part A covers things like hospice care and skilled nursing facility care that your health plan through work might not cover.
When youre getting Social Security benefits, youre automatically signed up for Part A. If youre not getting Social Security, you should sign up directly through Social Security. Find out how to sign up;in our Help Center.
Tip: Always talk to your company’s human resources department before you make the decision to sign up for Medicare. Your health insurance plan might work differently for you after you sign up for Medicare.
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My Dad And His Decision
My own dad, Joe, is receiving his social security income and started taking benefits when he was 65 years old.
Having been diagnosed with COPD in his late 20s, then Atrial Fibrillation in his 50s and a few other health conditions, Joe crunched the numbers around age 62. He decided that in order to get the most money from his years of paying into social security, collecting at age 65 presented the best-case scenario.
One in every four 65-year-olds will live past the age of 90. While its a tough pill to swallow, Joe doesnt expect to live to 90.
So, in order to maximize his retirement earnings, he filed his claim for SSI at age 65. Yes, he filed prior to full retirement age. However, he now has the time and income to enjoy his golden years.
What Is The Medicare Part B Late
If you do not sign up for Medicare Part B when you are first eligible, you may need to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare. Your monthly Part B premium could be 10% higher for every full 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B, but didnt take it. This higher premium could be in effect for as long as you are enrolled in Medicare. For those who are not automatically enrolled, there are various Medicare enrollment periods during which you can apply for Medicare. Be aware that, with certain exceptions, there are late-enrollment penalties for not signing up for Medicare when you are first eligible.
One exception is if you have health coverage through an employer health plan or through your spouses employer plan, you can delay Medicare Part B enrollment without paying a late-enrollment penalty. This health coverage must be based on current employment, meaning that COBRA or retiree benefits arent considered current employer health coverage.
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Getting Medicare Enrollment Assistance
If you have questions about or need help with Medicare eligibility or enrollment due to disability, you will want to talk with Social Security office. You can also go to your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program office;for Medicare counseling.
If you get approved for disability benefits but arent yet eligible for Medicare yet , you can reach out your local state human services agency to see if Medicaid may be an option for you.11
How To Apply For Medicare
How you apply for Medicare depends upon your individual circumstances and what parts of the program you need. You need the answer to the question When should I apply for Medicare?, before you can answer the how. There are several ways to apply. The following process is for enrolling online in Part A, Part B and Part D only. You cannot apply for Part B and D online unless applying for Part A as well.
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Medicare Special Enrollment Period
You may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible because you are already covered by group medical insurance through an employer or union. If you lose your group insurance, or if you decide you want to switch from your group coverage to Medicare, you can sign up at any time that you are still covered by the group plan or during a;Special Enrollment Period.
Your eight-month special enrollment period begins either the month that your employment ends or when your group health coverage ends, whichever occurs first. If you enroll during an SEP, you generally do not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
The Special Enrollment Period does not apply if youre eligible for Medicare because you have ESRD. Please also keep in mind that COBRA and retiree health coverage are not considered current employer coverage and would not qualify you for a special enrollment period.
What If My Premium Payment Is Late
If your First Bill payment is late, you’ll get a Second Bill. Your Second Bill will include both past amounts and next month’s premium. If you dont pay the total amount due by the 25th of the month, you’ll get a Delinquent Bill. If you get a Delinquent Bill and you dont pay your total amount due by the 25th of the month, youll lose your Medicare coverage.
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How Do I Enroll In Medicare If I Am Receiving Social Security
If you are getting Social Security benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you generally do not need to enroll in Medicare. You will automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is the first of the month, your Medicare benefits will start the first day of the prior month. If you decided you want Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, you must enroll separately.
If you are getting Social Security because you have a disability, you will automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B after you have been getting disability benefits from Social Security for 24 months. However, owever, Medicare treats some conditions differently from others. If you have ALS you automatically get Medicare Part A and Part B the month your Social Security disability benefits begin. If you enroll in Medicare because you have ESRD and youre on dialysis, Medicare coverage generally starts on the first day of the fourth month of your dialysis treatments. Like with ALS, there is no two-year waiting period to enroll in Medicare.
You also can apply for Social Security and Medicare at the same time through the Social Security Official Website.
How Do I Enroll In Medicare If I Am Not Receiving Social Security
If you are; not receiving Social Security benefits at least 4 months before you turn 65, you need to voluntarily enroll in Medicare in order to be covered. You can enroll online, in person, or over the phone.
- To enroll in Medicare online, apply online at the Social Security website
- To apply in person, visit your local Social Security office
- Too apply by phone, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 7 AM to 7 PM Monday through Friday
How To Sign Up For Medicare Advantage: When Can I Enroll
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is another way to receive Original Medicare benefits and is offered through private insurance companies that have contracts with Medicare. At minimum, all Medicare Advantage plans must offer the same Medicare Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. You must have Original Medicare, Part A and B, to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through a private insurer.
You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during two enrollment periods, the Initial Coverage Election Period and Annual Election Period.
What Is Social Security
Social Security is a program that pays benefits to Americans who have retired or who have a disability. The program is managed by the Social Security Administration . You pay into Social Security when you work. Money is deducted from your paycheck each pay period.
Youll receive benefits from Social Security once youre no longer able to work due to disability or once youve reached a qualifying age and stopped working. Youll receive your benefits in the form of a monthly check or bank deposit. The amount youre eligible for will depend on how much youve earned while working.
You can apply for Social Security benefits if one of these situations apply to you:
- Youre 62 or older.
- You have a chronic disability.
- Your spouse who was working or receiving Social Security benefits has died.
Social Security retirement benefits are designed to replace a portion of the monthly income you earned before you retired.
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The Quick Answer: Absolutely
Medicare provides critical health benefits for millions of seniors 65 and over. Similarly, Social Security serves as a crucial source of income for countless retirees. And though the two often go hand in hand, you actually don’t need to file for Social Security in order to receive coverage under Medicare.
Medicare coverage kicks in at age 65, and your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. But whether you’re retiring at 65 or still working, you’re allowed to sign up for Medicare without filing for Social Security simultaneously. In fact, in many cases, it pays to wait on Social Security for several years.
Social Security And Medicare Timing
Many people retire and start Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits at about the same time.; Its logical to do that.; But its not the only way.; It may not be the best way for you.
You can make independent decisions about all three.; You can start them years apart.; You can start them in any order
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Some Basics Of Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans
Supplemental plans fill the gap in medical expenses that Original Medicare does not fully cover.
For example, if you need care for a medical condition, Medicare Part B only covers 80 percent of those costs, and you are on the hook for the remaining 20 percent.
Using a supplemental plan, you can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket costs that can add up from medical care, including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance.
Private insurance companies offer supplemental plans, also known as Medigap.
If you cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses you incur from Part B, then a supplemental policy may help you curb those costs.
You must pay a monthly premium for a supplemental plan, so it is imperative that you shop by comparison when you are searching for one.
Just like traditional health care, you should never decide on the first insurance company that you see.
This is especially true here, because Medigap plans are standardized into types, and plans of the same type offer the exact same coverage, no matter the private carrier.
In other words, the only difference between Medicare supplements plans of the same type is the monthly premium charged by the carrier.
There are several Medicare-approved private insurance companies that offer quality supplemental plans.
The cost of your monthly premium and the portion of your medical expenses a supplemental plan will cover are at stake, so thoroughly comparison shop private insurance companies offering supplemental plans.
How To Apply For Medicare Without Claiming Social Security
The Social Security full retirement age is 66 for most baby boomers, and you receive a smaller monthly payout if you sign up at a younger age. Some retirees further delay signing up in order to qualify for larger monthly payments later in retirement. However, the Medicare eligibility age remains 65. So, if you want to wait until 66 or later to claim Social Security, you will have to sign up for Medicare separately at age 65. Here’s how to sign up for Medicare while delaying claiming Social Security.
Social Security and Medicare are separate decisions. You don’t need to sign up for both programs at the same time. “Most people take Social Security earlier than 65, but there’s a penalty for that, and you get less per month if you start earlier,” says Linda Fried, a medical doctor and professor of public health at Columbia University. For example, if you signed up for both Social Security and Medicare simultaneously in 2016 at age 65, you will only receive 93.3 percent of the Social Security benefit you have earned due to starting payments before your full retirement age of 66.
Emily Brandon is the author of “Pensionless: The 10-Step Solution for a Stress-Free Retirement.”
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