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How Easy Is It To Enroll In Medicare?

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Enrolling in Medicare is pretty easy. However, different eligibility requirements depend on your age at the time of enrollment.

Are you over 65 and newly eligible for Medicare?

Or under 65 and applying to Medicare for a different reason?

Each scenario will require a different set of eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicare. Keep reading to learn more about which option is best for you and how to get started.

ENROLLING IN MEDICARE

Enrolling in Medicare depends on your age or medical profile. Medicare is for three groups of people:
● 65 and older
● Younger people with disabilities
● Younger people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

How you apply for Medicare depends on your current medical and disability status. Please read the scenarios below to see which one applies to you. If none of them apply or you still aren’t sure, reach out to us for help.

 

Scenario 1

● You are turning 65 and newly eligible for Medicare.
● And you do not already receive Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits.

● You have to sign up for Medicare through Social Security.

 

Scenario 2

You already receive social security or RRB benefits

You are automatically enrolled in Medicare (Parts A and B in the U.S. Part A only in Puerto Rico).

 

Scenario 3

● You’re under 65
● AND have a disability that would make you eligible for Social Security for at least 24 months

You may be able to apply for Medicare.

 

Scenario 4

You already receive Social Security

You are automatically enrolled in Parts A and B.

 

Scenario 5

You do not already receive Social Security

You will have to contact the Social Security Administration to apply for both Social Security and Medicare, just like those turning 65, above.

 

Scenario 6

You are applying to Medicare because you have ESRD

You must apply through Social Security. You will not automatically be enrolled even if you already have Social Security.

 

ENROLLMENT PERIODS

The process of applying is fairly simple. However, one of the things that can make it more complicated is the enrollment periods. There are certain time periods in which you can enroll in Medicare or make changes to your plan. The enrollment periods are the:

Initial Enrollment Period
● General Enrollment Period
● Special Enrollment Period
● Annual Enrollment Period
● Medicare Advantage/Open Enrollment Period

Since we are focusing on enrollment, we will elaborate on the three enrollment periods in which you are allowed to enroll:

● Initial Enrollment Period
● General Enrollment Period
● Special Enrollment Period

Initial Enrollment

A seven-month window that grants newly Medicare-eligible people the chance to enroll in Medicare. It starts three months before your 65th birthday.

Special Enrollment Period

This period is for those who have lost medical coverage in one way or another. It typically lasts 2-3 months.

General Enrollment Period

This period begins on January 1 and ends on March 31. The General Enrollment Period can be a good backup option for those who missed their Initial Enrollment Period.

However, your coverage won’t begin until July 1, and you might have to pay a late enrollment penalty.

Applying to Medicare at the right time can be confusing when picking the best enrollment period. So get in touch with our Medicare Specialist at Medigap Supplement Headquarters today to learn more and choose the best enrollment option for your medical needs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dale Wondisford, Medigap Agent

13 Years experience helping hundreds of families get the best insurance policy to meet their needs.

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