Enroll in Medicare in 6 Easy Steps
Enrolling in Medicare can be a confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the enrollment process and ensure that you have the coverage you need.
Determine your eligibility. In order to enroll in Medicare, you must be 65 years of age or older, or have a qualifying disability.
Choose your enrollment period. There are several different enrollment periods to choose from, including the initial enrollment period, the general enrollment period, and the open enrollment period. It is important to enroll during the correct period in order to avoid any penalties.
Decide which type of Medicare coverage you need. There are four main types of Medicare coverage: Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), and Medigap. Each type of coverage offers different benefits, so it is important to research and compare the options before making a decision.
Gather necessary information. Before enrolling, you will need to provide some basic information, including your Social Security number, birth date, and contact information. You will also need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
Enroll online, by phone, or in person. You can enroll in Medicare online by visiting the official Medicare website, by phone by calling the Medicare hotline, or in person by visiting a Social Security office.
Keep track of your coverage and make sure to renew it. Medicare coverage is not permanent and you need to renew it every year.
By following these simple steps, you can enroll in Medicare quickly and easily. Remember to research your options carefully and to keep track of your coverage to ensure that you have the coverage you need.
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Things you want to know about Medicare 2022/23
Q: Who is eligible for Medicare?
A: In order to qualify for Original Medicare in 2022, you must be an American Citizen for minimum of 5 years and one of the following:
• age 65 or older • Under age 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Income for 24 months • Diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis To enroll in Original Medicare, you may be required to reach out to your local Social Security office in some circumstances.
Q: Will you be Automatically Enrolled in Medicare at age 65?
A: If you are receiving Social Security benefits or railroad retirement board benefits at least four months before you enroll in Medicare, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare at age 65.
However, if you are not receiving Social Security benefits or railroad retirement board benefits, you will need to contact your local Social Security office in order to enroll in Medicare (up to three months before your 65th birth month). If you must contact your local Social Security office, you can sign up for Part A and Part B at the same time. Once you complete the application and provide the required documentation, you will begin receiving benefits on the first day of your 65th birth month. To complete the application, you can do so online, in person, or over the phone.
Q: Is Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage the same thing?
A: Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are not the same thing. Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans both bring additional benefits to Original Medicare, however they work very differently. Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, work as a secondary to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). The plan will only pay after Original Medicare has paid their portion. These plans have no networks, no restrictions, and no referrals to see specialists.
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, on the other hand, become your primary coverage over Original Medicare. They often require you to follow a strict network of doctors and have higher out of pocket costs. However, they often provide additional benefits. These additional benefits provided by Medicare Advantage plans often include dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug coverage as well as transportation assistance and gym memberships. However, not every plan or every carrier are required to offer these additional benefits.
Q: How Much Does Medicare Cost Annually?
A: For most, Medicare Part A premium is $0 per month. However, if you do not qualify for zero-premium Part A, the premium can be as high as $499. In order to qualify for a zero premium, you must have worked at least 40 quarters or 10 years paying Medicare taxes. If you did not meet this qualification, you will be required to pay the Medicare part A premium.
The standard Medicare Part B premium in 2022 is $170.10, however this can increase based on income. This difference in premium reflects your Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). For example, if you & your spouse make $230,000 combined you will each pay $340.20 per month for Medicare Part B. If you are subject to IRMAA, you will receive a determination letter with your new monthly premium.
Q: Can I enroll in Medicare Advantage and Medigap?
A: It is illegal to enroll in both a Medicare Supplement plan and a Medicare Advantage plan. If you were to enroll in both plans, neither plan would be recognized as primary coverage which would lead to denial of services. This could leave you paying out-of-pocket for all your healthcare services, regardless of having both coverages.
* It is illegal for an agent to enroll you in one plan if you are already enrolled in the other and do not have a valid way out of the plan.
Q: Do I renew Medicare every year?
A: Original Medicare coverage is automatically renewable each year that you are eligible for coverage. Therefore, you do not need to renew your Medicare parts each year.
Medicare Supplement plans work the same way, once you are accepted, the plan is automatically renewable as long as you continue to pay the monthly premium. Medicare Advantage plans are similar, though you have the option to change your plan each year if you do not like the benefits of your current plan.
Q: Does Medicare cover PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS?
Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs. If you require prescription medication coverage, you’ll need to enroll in Medicare Part D. Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription medications. Additionally, some Medicare Advantage plans provide prescription drug coverage as well.
If you do not enroll in Medicare Part D, you may be subject to the Medicare part D late enrollment penalty. This penalty is assessed for those who delay Part D benefits without creditable coverage. You will be required to pay the additional premium cost for as long as you are enrolled in Medicare Part D.
Q: What will happen to my Medicare Plan if I move?
A: If you move to a new city or state, you are required to change your address with Social Security.
Because Original Medicare is a federal program, benefits are the same nationwide. So, your benefits will not change. However, if you are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan, there is a strong likelihood that you’ll be required to choose a new plan or pay a higher (or lower) monthly premium. If you are in the process of moving, our Medicare agents will be able to help you easily find a new top-rated plan in your area.
Q: How do I change my address with Medicare?
A: To change your address with Medicare, you must contact your local Social Security office and verify your identity. From there, they can change your address on file by answering a few simple questions and providing supporting documentation.
If you have multiple addresses, you must provide your permanent residence. This is determined by where you spend the majority of your time throughout the year.
Q: What is my Medicare deductible?
A: Both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B have deductibles and costs that change annually.
In 2022, the Medicare Part A per occurrence deductible is $1,556 and the Medicare Part B annual deductible is $233. These deductibles must be met before the respective Medicare Part will cover its portion of the services you receive. The Medicare Part A deductible is per occurrence this means you could pay that cost multiple times in one year. The Medicare Part B deductible is annual. This means you will only pay it once per calendar year. Medicare Part C plans often have an annual deductible that can be different for each plan. You will need to review your plans information to find your annual deductible. Lastly, Medicare Part D plans have an annual deductible as well. In 2022, the maximum deductible is $480. However, each plan can set their own deductible.
Q: What do I do if I lose my Medicare Card?
A: It is important that you report your card lost or stolen immediately. To report a lost or stolen card and to request a replacement card, you can log into, or create a “MyMedicare” account through Medicare.gov. From there you will be able to print a temporary replacement card.
To receive a new card in the mail, you will need to contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
Q: Does Medicare cover hearing aids?
A: Original Medicare does not offer coverage for hearing-aids. However, there are some Medicare Advantage plans that may provide this benefit. CMS does not deem hearing-aids medically necessary, so they are not covered by the federal healthcare program. If you need hearing coverage but don’t want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, there are several options. You can enroll in a “stand-alone benefits plan” that has the option for hearing coverage to work alongside your Medicare plan.
Q: Can Medicare drop me for health reasons?
A: Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you continue to pay the monthly premiums. In a nutshell, Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Supplement plans cannot drop your coverage based on your “health status.”
Keep in mind, if you want to change plans, there may be restrictions or roadblocks due to health. Medicare Supplement plans can deny your application based on pre-existing conditions. Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans do not review your health history. However, you can only apply during certain times of the year.
Q: What if I Cannot Afford my Medicare Premiums?
A: If you can’t afford to pay your monthly Medicare premiums, there are several assistance programs available to help cover these costs.
You will need to visit your local Medicaid office to see if you qualify. If you do qualify for assistance, Medicaid will cover your monthly premiums and provide you with extra benefits. Additionally, there are several Medicare Savings Plans available to help cover low-income earners. These plans are designed to help pay your Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
Q: Is there a difference between Medicare HMO and Medicare PPO?
A: Medicare HMO and PPO plans are Medicare Advantage plans.
HMO plans are the most restrictive with tight networks and require referrals to see specialists. PPO plans are more lenient and have a wider network of doctors and hospitals you can utilize. HMO plans typically cost less than PPO plans. However, both types of plans have restrictions and guidelines you must follow to receive care. It is important that you create a list of the doctors and/or specialists, tests, medications and any procedures you will need during the new Open Enrollment term. Sharing this list with the Insurance Agent will help to determine which plan(s) are best suited for your healthcare needs.
Q: Will Medicare cover all my medical bills?
A: Original Medicare does not cover 100% of your medical costs once you enroll in coverage.
Medicare Part A requires you to pay a per occurrence deductible and copayments. Medicare Part B requires an annual deductible and a coinsurance of 20%. In order to be covered fully, you will need to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan to help cover these gaps in coverage left by Original Medicare. By doing so, you will reduce your out-of-pocket spending with Medicare.
Disclaimers and Important Information: