You will likely receive Original Medicare automatically by the time you turn 65. However, this is not the case for everyone and does not apply to other parts of Medicare. To help make sure that your Medicare enrollment is in order, here is how to apply for each part.
Automatic Enrollment in Original Medicare
Original Medicare includes Part A and Part B. To automatically enroll in each of these parts, you must have received 4 months of Social Security (or Railroad Retirement Board RRB) benefits. If you have, you will receive your Medicare card in the mail around your 65th birthday.
If you have not yet received 4 months of Social Security or RRB benefits, you will have to enroll yourself in Original Medicare. You can do so online on the Social Security website, over the phone, through the RRB (if applicable), or simply by visiting your local Social Security office.
It is very important to enroll in Original Medicare during the 7 months surrounding your 65th birthday. This is referred to as your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). If you miss this window of time, you may be subject to late penalties added onto your monthly premiums.
You can also be automatically enrolled if you’re under 65 with a disability and receive either disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months. If you have ALS, you will be automatically enrolled when your disability benefits begin.
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage and Part D
Unlike Original Medicare, there is no option for automatic enrollment with these plans. For Part D, you can enroll during the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15th through December 7th if you miss your IEP.
For enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan (if you missed your IEP), you can also use the same Annual Enrollment Period.
Enrollment in Medigap
We recommend our clients enroll six months before Original Medicare takes place. The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is a 12-month window. It’s six months before A/B – the month it takes effect – five months after.
Help and Advice from People Who Care
Medicare enrollment takes time, knowledge, and dedication. We know how difficult this process can be, especially for new enrollees, and we want to help. For more information on your enrollment, message Healthcare Solutions Direct.