Is your 65th birthday approaching, and you are wondering if you should enroll for Medicare? What information will you need to provide for the enrollment process to be successful? Why is it essential to enroll in Medicare during the Medicare enrollment period? Which medical conditions qualify one for a Medicare coverage plan?
The Medicare program helps to cover the cost of medical expenses. However, it does not cover medical costs for long-term care. The federal government covers the cost for original Medicare, Part A, and Part B. Private insurance companies sell Medicare supplement insurance policies. If you are 65 years, have a chronic disease, or living with a disability, you can apply for Medicare online, over the phone, or in-person according to your preferences.
If you have paid taxes long enough, you are eligible for Medicare part A. A monthly premium is required to enroll in Medicare part B. You can turn down Medicare part B if you don’t want to pay the monthly premium. When enrolling in Medicare, you will be required to provide certain information that includes:
- Proof of US citizenship.
- Original birth certificate copy.
- Social security card.
- Updated health insurance information.
- Tax returns.
- Military discharge papers.
You can enroll in Original Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you are younger, you can get Medicare coverage if you have the following conditions:
- End-stage kidney disease. You will be enrolled automatically into the Medicare coverage plan.
- Certain disabilities. If the social security administration provides you with monthly disability benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare after two years.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. If you have this condition and you receive social security benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare from the first month.
Medicare enrollment period.
It is the timeframe for enrolling in a Medicare plan. You will automatically be enrolled in Medicare part A and B if you get Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security benefits. You will receive your Medicare card three months before your Medicare enrollment date. During the enrollment period, those eligible for Medicare coverage should enroll. The Medicare enrollment deadline and period is as follows:
- Initial enrollment.
It occurs three months before and three months after the 65th birthday. This period lasts for seven months. For people with disability, the enrollment occurs three months before and after their 25th month of disability payments. The longer you wait to enroll, the higher the late enrollment penalty. Your coverage will start one month after your enrollment. The coverage dates differ depending on the month of enrollment.
- General enrollment.
If you missed the initial enrollment period, you will have to enroll from 1st January to 31st March. You can sign up if you are not eligible for a special enrollment period or failed to sign up when you were first eligible. You will be required to pay late enrolment fees.
- Medigap enrollment.
After turning 65 years, you will enroll six months later.
- Special enrollment.
Depending on the qualification reason, you can enroll within a certain number of months. If your current employer provides medical insurance coverage, you may not see the reason to apply for Medicare part B when you turn 65. You can apply for Medicare coverage when your medical insurance coverage ends or if you are still covered by the group health plan. It is available for a limited time. You will be required to pay a Part B premium penalty during this period. You may need to change your coverage due to the following reasons:
- Relocated back to the US after living abroad.
- Employment provided health plan, ends
- Moved out of your plan’s service area.
- Moved in or out of a healthcare facility.
- Medicare Part D enrollment.
If you missed the original enrollment period, enroll from 1st April to 30th June.
- Open enrollment.
If you want to join, change or drop the Medicare plan, you should do this from 15th October to 7th December.
If you are not enrolled automatically in Medicare coverage, use the social security website to enroll. When enrolling in a Medicare coverage plan, you will be required to provide proof of US citizenship, original birth certificate copy, social security card, updated health insurance information, and tax returns.