If you’ll be eligible for Medicare this year, you need to know how to get on Medicare. This is a universal concern as not many people about to turn 65 understand what they can do to get started. That’s where The Benefit Link can help and walk you through the process!
The first, very simple thing you want to do is go to the Social Security website (ssa.gov). Once here, you can sign up for your Social Security account and get your Medicare process started. If you don’t feel comfortable trying to navigate their website, you can call 1-800-772-1213.
Part A and B (Original Medicare) are both necessary to start the process. Part A, which is your inpatient coverage, typically has no additional cost because Part A is something you have worked for your whole life. As long as you have worked 40 quarters (10 years), you don’t have to be concerned with any additional premium for Part A. For Part B, your outpatient coverage, there will be a monthly premium of $164.90 in 2023. This premium will either come directly out of your Social Security, or you can set up an account to have it drafted.
You must have Part A and B to have additional coverage, such as a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan. With a Medigap plan, Medicare is your primary insurance and Medigap is secondary.
You will also want to be familiar with a few enrollment periods, such as your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This period means you are newly eligible to enroll in Medicare because you have aged into it. If you’re on disability for at least two years, you will also automatically qualify for Medicare.
If you miss your IEP, you have other options in which you can enroll. The first option is the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which occurs every year between January 1 and March 31. If you enroll during this period, you may be penalized for late enrollment. The other option is enrolling during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You can enroll during this period without being penalized as long as you qualify for it.
Once enrolled in Original Medicare and are 65, you can enroll in a Medigap plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. There is also an Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) that occurs once a year between October 15 and December 7. During this period, you can:
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (or vice versa)
- Add or remove a prescription drug program to your existing plan
- Change insurance providers
Need Medicare? We Can Help!
We understand that all of this information is a lot to take in and can be confusing, but we have a simple solution for you if you want more clarification and guidance through the process: give us a call! We have experts who are available to help you free of charge.