We talk a lot about Medicare’s benefits and how it can save you a ton of money regarding healthcare and medical bills. But knowing how and when you should be applying for Medicare is something that often gets overlooked. Far too many insurance companies are pushing consumers towards signing up for plans without ever really telling them what they need to do.
At Game Changing Benefits, we plan to change that. As well as understanding the benefits of Medicare, we believe it is important that you know when you are eligible for Medicare – and what you need to do as the next steps.
Step One - Are You Eligible for Medicare?
This is a pretty basic one to answer. The main terms for eligibility are age 65 or over, living with a disability, or suffering from kidney failure. Suppose you have worked for over ten years and have paid all the relevant taxes when you turn 65. In that case, your social security should automatically enroll you in Part A of the Medicare package to ensure the most basic health insurance coverage. Upon successful enrollment, you will receive a welcome packet in the mail that welcomes you on the Medicare journey.
Step Two - What if I Don't Get Enrolled Automatically?
Don’t panic – the enrollment period for Medicare starts three months before your 65th birthday. It then ends three months after your 65th birthday, so you have plenty of time to get your application in if you don’t receive the automatic enrollment welcome pack.
The biggest cause of not receiving automatic enrollment is the continuation of work. If you hit 65 but are still working and are thus receiving health insurance benefits through your employer, you will need to manually sign yourself up for Medicare during that enrollment period.
Step Three - The Enrollment Process
We talk about this as if it were a complicated process – but in reality, it’s a very basic form that can now be completed within ten minutes online. During this online process, you will be signed up for Part A and will be invited to sign up for Part B as well – as this comes with costs and premiums, it is not compulsory, and you may decide that at the present moment, it is not something you need.
While this is perfectly acceptable, consumers should note that if they turn down Part B coverage in the initial application and then decide to sign up for it later down the line, they will face penalty premiums.