How To Sign Up For Medicare


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Key Takeaways

1. Signing up for Original Medicare can be done online through the Social Security website, over the phone or in person at your local Social Security office.

2. Medicare Advantage plans replace your Original Medicare coverage. Part D prescription drug and supplemental insurance (Medigap) plans provide additional coverage when keeping your Original Medicare. Each of the optional coverage plans has its own select enrollment periods and can be purchased through Medicare or a third-party insurance company.

3. Be aware of enrollment periods. Your initial enrollment period spans seven months, starting three months before and ending three months after your 65th birthday month. Open enrollment happens every year between Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, you can make changes to your current coverage.

How To Enroll In the Various Medicare Plans

Medicare has three types of plans that offer different ways to sign up. If you’re new, delaying your enrollment could result in a penalty and fee for not having it set by the appropriate time period! It’s important to keep track on these deadlines so they don’t slip passed without notice – especially if this will be YOUR first time going through Medicare Part B or D benefits with their help at least once every five years after turning 65 (or before).

Plan How to Sign Up Enrollment Period Penalties for Delaying Enrollment
Original Medicare (Part A and B) (1). Fill out the online application on the Social Security Administration’s website. (2). Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. (3).Visit your local Social Security office. Automatic or three months before the month you turn 65 and extends three months after. 10 percent of the monthly premium
Medicare Advantage Plans (1.) Call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. (2).Go online and use the Medicare Plan Finder. (3).Contact the plan provider online or over the phone. Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 None
Supplement Insurance (Medigap) (1.) Find a Medigap policy by using an online tool on the Medicare website. (2.) Contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for free help. (3.) Call your State Insurance Department Six months after the month you’re 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. None
Prescription Drugs (Part D) (1.) Call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. (2.) Go online and use the Medicare Plan Finder. (3.) Contact the insurance company that offers the Part D plan directly. Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 It depends on how long you went without Part D

Step 1: Determine Whether You Need to Sign Up for Medicare

Some people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A hospital insurance and Medicare Part B medical insurance.

You are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and B if:

  1. You receive Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for at least four months before turning 65.
  2. You are under the age of 65 and have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for at least 24 months.

If you already collect Social Security retirement benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. No further action is required.

Your coverage will begin the first day of the month you turn 65.

Step 2: Signing Up for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)

There are a few different ways to sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B if you are not automatically enrolled.

Medicare Part A and Part B are also called Original Medicare.

3 Ways to Sign Up for Medicare Part A and Part B

  1. Fill out the online application on the Social Security Administration’s website.
  2. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-325-0778), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  3. Visit your local Social Security office. You can use the Social Security office locator to find your nearest location.

If you worked at a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users 1-312-751-4701) to sign up.

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