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Learn About Enrolling in Medicare & How to Sign Up for Medicare
When am I eligible to enroll in Medicare?
You can enroll in Medicare up to 3 months before you turn 65, the month of your birthday, and up to 3 months after your 65th birthday. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period. If you have not enrolled into Medicare when you were first eligible, you may have to pay a penalty after you join. If you were working and delayed your Part B enrollment until you retire (which is advised), you will not incur any penalties.
Step-by-step instructions on how to enroll in Medicare:
1) You can enroll online at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly/
2) You can call the general Social Security phone number, and get signed up over the phone. Their general number is (800) 772-1213.
3) You can contact your local Social Security office, and schedule an appointment to enroll in Medicare. You can find the nearest office and phone number by using the “Social Security Office Locator” tool on Social Security’s website at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/locator/. You enter your zip code, and it will tell you the phone number, address, and other information for your nearest Social Security office.
How much does Medicare cost?
Medicare Part A is essentially “free” if you have worked at least 10 years, or 40 quarters, and paid into Medicare during that time. The cost for Medicare Part B varies depending on the year you enroll, and what level of income you have. For example, in 2010 the standard Medicare Part B cost was $110.50 per month. In 2011 the standard Medicare Part B cost was $115.40 per month. Generally if you make less than about $85,000 per year, then you pay the standard Medicare Part B premium. If you earn more than that amount, then you may pay more for Medicare Part B. You can contact Social Security to see exactly what your monthly cost for Medicare will be.
How to Apply for Medicare Supplement Insurance
After you enroll in Medicare, you should consider purchasing a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan. This type of policy will cover some, if not all of the expenses not fully paid for by Medicare. Medicare does not cover provide 100% coverage (in fact they only cover about 80% for most procedures) and most people will purchase a Medicare Supplement Policy to cover this difference.
You should compare plans, companies, and prices in order to ensure you are selecting the best Medicare Supplement Insurance Policy. You can compare plans & prices on our website, or contact one of our expert Medicare Advisors who will walk you through every step of the way and compare plans & prices from multiple companies for you. You can call also apply for a Medicare Supplement Plan by calling us toll-free at: (855) 419-3826. There is no cost to use our service.
Tip: You are automatically enrolled into both Medicare Parts A and B if you are already receiving Social Security Benefits. They will send you confirmation letters stating your enrollment approximately 2 to 3 months before you turn 65. If you are still working, or are not already receiving Social Security benefits, then you must apply on your own by using one of the methods listed above. It is advised to call Social Security either way to confirm your enrollment and make sure there are no problems.
Tip: While Medicare Parts A and B are good health insurance, there are still many gaps that are left uncovered. We recommend most of our clients to have Medicare Parts A (Hospital), Part B (Medical), Part D (Drug Coverage), and a Medicare Supplement Policy (Medigap). This will give you the proper coverage, and reduce or even eliminate all of your out-of-pocket expenses. We do NOT recommend Medicare Part C (Advantage Plans) to most people for the lack of coverage that they have, and their high out-of-pocket expenses.
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