When it comes to choosing a Medicare plan, you have several choices. This is a good thing
Applying for Medicare can feel overwhelming, but your Medicare enrollment will be simpler than you may think. Each year, we walk many of our clients through the Medicare application process. Our expert agents are here to answer common questions about applying.
How Do I File for Medicare?
Applying for Medicare is easier than you think. You can do it online, over the phone, or in person at the Social Security office. Know that phone applications take longer than applying online or in person.
The Social Security office deals with Medicare applications for Parts A and B.
When to Apply for Medicare?
You’re eligible to apply at age 65. If Medicare will be your main insurance, you should apply sometime in the 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday.
When Is Open Enrollment for Medicare?
Your open enrollment is based on your birthday. It’s a seven-month span that begins 3 months before your 65th birthday month. Register within this time to avoid penalties. Don’t confuse this enrollment period with the Annual Election Period (AEP) in the fall. The AEP differs and is only for switching your drug or Medicare Advantage plan.
How Long Does it Take to Get Your Medicare Card?
Most of the time, you’ll get your Medicare card about 3 weeks after applying.
If you’re already getting Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will automatically enroll into Medicare. Your card will arrive in your mailbox about 3 months before you turn 65. When you get it, don’t forget to enroll in Part D if you need drug coverage before your IEP ends. Since Part D is voluntary, you must take up that enrollment.
What if I Have Large Employer Coverage?
Medicare can accommodate your employer insurance even if you’re still working. If you’re working for a business with 20+ employees, Medicare will play second fiddle to your employer coverage. In that case, you can decide whether to enroll in Part B or defer your enrollment into Part B until later.
When to apply for Medicare differs for each person. While these rules exist, there are often mistakes made by Social Security that can impact you, so call a Medicare insurance broker like Cornerstone Senior Advisors for help. We have solved countless Medicare enrollment issues for our clients.
Lastly, if you’re still working, we’ll weigh the costs of your employer coverage compared to what Medicare would be as your main coverage. If it seems more logical to stay on your employer insurance, we can help you choose whether to enroll in Part A, Part B, or both.
For more information, visit our Medicare and Employer Coverage page.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
- Filing at age 65 is extremely important if you work for a small employer.
- One Medicare application is all you need to submit. You don’t have to apply every year!
- Your Medicare Parts A and B will automatically renew each year unless you don’t pay your premiums.
- Your Part D plan will also auto-renew every year, but drug plan benefits vary from year to year. Make sure you review your coverage annually during the fall AEP.
If you still have concerns, you don’t have to sign up alone. We’re here to help you register for Medicare and take you all the way through to set up your Medicare supplement and Part D plans. As independent agents, we serve as your personal guides and dependable source for help. Call Cornerstone Senior Advisors in Wichita, Kansas at (316) 260-3331.