How To Apply For Medicare

The way in which you apply for Medicare depends on your situation.

The important questions that determine how you apply for Medicare are as follows:

  1. Are you approaching your 65th birthday or are you past your 65th birthday or are you past your 65th birthday?
  2. If you are approaching your 65th birthday, are you collecting Social Security?
  3. If you are past your 65th birthday, do you have creditable health insurance through either your or your spouse’s employer?
  4. If you are past your 65th birthday and have creditable coverage through an employer are you contributing to a Health Savings Account?
  5. Even if you have employer coverage through your employer or your spouse, is your employer coverage or full Medicare the best option for you?

The following are the ways for you to apply for Medicare under various scenarios:

Scenario #1: Approaching your 65th birthday AND collecting Social Security benefits with NO Employer Coverage

If you are collecting Social Security four months prior to the first day of the month in which you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

You will receive you Medicare card in the mail approximately 110 days before the first day of the month in which you turn 65.

The first day of the month in which you turn 65 is important because this is the first day of your Medicare eligibility.

There is one exception to this. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your Medicare eligibility date will be the first day of the previous month.

As an example, if you turn 65 on September 17, 2020, your Medicare eligibility begins on September 1, 2020. You will receive your Medicare card showing around May 10, 2020 – 110 days before your Medicare effective date – showing Medicare Parts A and B with an effective date of September 1, 2020.

On the other hand, if you turn 65 on September 1, 2020, your Medicare eligibility date will be August 1, 2020 and you will receive your Medicare card around April 10, 2020 showing an effective date for Medicare Parts A and B of August 1, 2020.

Once again, these dates only apply if you are collecting Social Security four months prior to your Medicare eligibility date.

Scenario #2: Approaching your 65th birthday AND collecting Social Security benefits with Employer Coverage

As with Scenario #1, if you are already collecting Social Security 4 months prior to the first day of the month in which you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

However, if you have health insurance through an employer, whether it is your own employer or a spouse, you may want to remain on the employer coverage.

In this situation, you may want to enroll in Medicare Part A only. Medicare Part A provides coverage for in-patient hospital stays, skilled nursing for the purpose of rehabilitation and home health care.

Importantly, there is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A and, in some situations, Medicare Part A will pay for costs for which you would otherwise be responsible with employer coverage only.

In this situation, assuming the employer through which you have employer coverage has at least 20 employees, you likely do not need both Medicare Part B and employer coverage.

If you choose to keep Medicare Part A after you have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, you can return the Medicare card that shows both Medicare Parts A and B and indicate you want to enroll at that time in Medicare Part A only.

You will then receive a new Medicare Card showing Medicare Part A only.

Please know when you do eventually leave your employer coverage, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, you will be able to enroll at that time in Medicare Part B with no late-enrollment penalty using a Special Election Period due to losing employer coverage.

If you are choosing to remain on employer coverage once you are eligible for Medicare and are contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA) in your name, you will no longer be able to make HSA contributions if you choose to enroll in Medicare Part A only.

For this reason, you may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part A even though there is no monthly premium because you consider the tax-avoidance benefits of the HSA more valuable than the coverage provided by Medicare Part A.lease note this does not apply if your spouse in contributing to the HSA as the employee even though the tax-free HSA funds can be used to pay your health care costs.

Scenario #3: Approaching your 65th birthday and NOT collecting Social Security with NO Employer Coverage

If you are not collecting Social Security four months prior to the first day of the month in which you turn 65, you should start full Medicare when you are first eligible.

You will need to enroll in Medicare Part A Medicare Part B in one of the following three ways:

First, you can apply online at socialsecurity.gov.

Second you can call Social Security at 1(800) 772-1213.

Finally, you can apply in-person at your local Social Security office.

Scenario #4: Approaching your 65th birthday and NOT collecting Social Security with Employer Coverage 

As with Scenario #2, you can enroll in Medicare Part A only in the following three ways:

First, you can apply online at socialsecurity.gov.

Second you can call Social Security at 1 (800) 772-1213.

Finally, you can apply in-person at your local Social Security office.

In this situation, you will need to clearly state you are enrolling in Medicare Part A only.

When you are enrolling online, there is a somewhat confusing part of the online enrollment when a screen asks if you want to enroll in Medicare Part B. While the selection you make depends on whether you want Medicare Part B, there is no corresponding screen asking if you want to enroll in Medicare Part A.

This is because enrollment in Medicare Part A is automatic. However this confuses many people who think they have overlooked a place to enroll in Medicare Part A.

As we discussed in Scenario 2, if you are contributing to an HSA in your name, you will not be able to do so once you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part A for this reason.

Important exception

Please note, scenarios #2 and #4 assume if you have employer coverage you want to keep it even though you are eligible for full Medicare.

In many situations, depending on the cost and coverage levels of your employer coverage, it is in your best interest to leave your employer coverage and go on full Medicare even though you or your spouse are still working.

In this case, you simply enroll in Medicare Parts A and B as in Scenarios #1 and #3 and notify your employer, or spouse’s employer, you want to leave their coverage to go on full Medicare.

In this situation, you do not have to wait for your employer’s annual enrollment period to make this change as your new eligibility for Medicare provides you the right to leave employer coverage at any time.

I would appreciate the chance to help you understand your Medicare options so you can choose the right Medicare plan for you both now and in the future.

Simply click on the following link below to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement Quote

Click here to request your free, no-obligation Medicare Supplement quote

If you are fairly certain of which Medicare Supplement in which you want to enroll, simply click on the following link below to schedule your Medicare Supplement Enrollment Appointment

Click here to schedule your Medicare Supplement Enrollment

 

If you would like to discuss your Medicare options with Charles Bradshaw, simply click on the following link to schedule a free, no-obligation Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

Click here to schedule your free, no-obligation Medicare consultation with Charles Bradshaw

 

If you know of someone who needs help with their Medicare, please share this with them.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

2 thoughts on “How To Apply For Medicare”

  1. Thank you for this helpful step by step options scenario. I have spoke with our benefits group at Fiat Chrysler. They told me my current coverage would be my primary until I actual retire. Our benefits group is contracted out by FCA and not the actual F.C Human resource group for us here in Michigan. We are Merging now with the French auto company PSA and effective this past month my human resource people are based in Europe. I’m concerned if I wait for part B coverage until I retire end of 1st quarter 2021 it may ne difficult to het that form I need signed within the required window and face late fee penalties later. Since I’m already paying FCA $130 a month now even though it may cost more money now it’s money I’m going to need to pay when I fo take part B later.
    I’d rather not enroll in their health care towards the end of this year and start putting my $130 I pay them now per month and get part G snd whatever else we thing is best and be done with it filing for A &B next month for my October birthday. With FCA having well over thousands of employees can I deny their primary covrrage and just go on Medicare in October?

    1. Yes. You can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B effective October 1 along with a Plan G Medicare Supplement (recommended) and a Medicare Part D drug plan.

      You can ter,inate your employer coverage effective 09/30/2020 to go on full Medicare.

      Please schedule another appointment – http://www.scheduleyou.in/C5kpKu – or call me at (865) 851-1120 or email charlesbradshaw@medicareanswercenter.com and we can start the process to do this.

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