Are you turning 65 this year? If so, then you’ll be eligible to enroll in Medicare, the government-funded medical insurance plan started in 1965 by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson. However, Medicare enrollment can be somewhat complicated, especially without the help of an expert, which is why the team from Good and Associates Insurance Services wanted to provide you with some tips on how to apply for Medicare here.
For more about finding the perfect Medicare plan for you when you turn 65, take a close look at some of these helpful tips for 2021.
When Can I Enroll in Medicare?
As mentioned above, once you turn 65, you’ll be able to enroll in Medicare. However, it’s important to understand how the enrollment process works. You’ll be able to enroll three months before you turn 65, as well as the month of your 65th birthday and three months after it. For those who want to postpone their enrollment period and defer paying Medicare expenses, they’ll either need to continue working past the age of 65 or be covered under their spouse’s healthcare plan.
However, there are also some more specific things you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to enrolling in Medicare that we’ve listed for you here. They are:
- Automatic Enrollment: You might be eligible for automatic enrollment if you’re already receiving Social Security benefits. Additionally, those younger than 65 with specific medical conditions are also eligible for automatic enrollment.
- Initial Enrollment Period: This is the seven-month period we mentioned above during which most people enroll. During this enrollment period, you can enroll in Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare Part D policy.
- General Enrollment: This period occurs every year from Jan. 1-March 31 and if someone chooses not to enroll during the initial enrollment period for one reason or another, they can enroll during this time. There may be a late enrollment penalty if you didn’t get an extension. During this period, those already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to Original Medicare if they like, or enroll in Medicare Part D.
- Open Enrollment Period: This period occurs from Oct. 15-Dec. 7 every year. During this time, a person can switch Medicare Advantage plans, go from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or drop or enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
- Medicare Advantage Original Enrollment Period: This period also runs from Jan. 1-March 31 every year. This is when those who want to switch to another Medicare plan or obtain Plan D for prescription drug coverage are able to do so.
- Special Enrollment Periods: In addition to those mentioned above, there are also special enrollment periods in which exceptions are made. These are made when certain, life-changing events occur, like moving, obtaining health coverage through an employer, losing your current health coverage, or when a particular plan changes their plan with Medicare.
What Does Medicare Cost in 2021?
You’re probably wondering what Medicare will cost you this year. Although it will be different for every person, there are some common factors and price ranges to consider.
Original Medicare: For Medicare Part A, most people won’t be required to pay a premium. But if you don’t meet certain conditions, such as paying the required minimum amount of taxes, you may be required to pay a premium ranging anywhere from $259-471. Medicare Part B premiums start at $148.50 and increase depending on your income range.
Medicare Advantage: This Medicare plan has a wide range of premiums starting from zero costs and can be very different depending on your specific plan.
Medicare Part D: This is another Medicare plan where costs vary depending upon a person’s income range, specifically how it’s been reported to the Internal Revenue Service. For those with higher income, extra costs may be added to your plan’s premium. You’ll begin incurring additional costs when your income is above $88,000 when you file as an individual or $176,000 if filed jointly.
How to Enroll in Original Medicare
Those who want to enroll in original Medicare should first find out whether they’ve been automatically enrolled in Part A or Part B, or determine if they want to defer enrollment. You can enroll either online, by phone, in person, or mail via your local Social Security Administration office.
Enrolling in Medicare Advantage
If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can sign up during your initial enrollment period, as well as change your selections during the open enrollment period. Those signing up outside of these times may incur late enrollment fees. You can sign up for such a plan either online or with a private insurance company.
How to Enroll in Medicare Part D
Those interested in enrolling in Medicare Part D can do so either by phone, online or through a private insurance company. Enrollment takes place during your initial enrollment period, as well as the open enrollment period. If you enroll outside of these times, you may incur late fees.
Enrolling in Medicare Online
For those who decide to enroll in Medicare online, the application process can be quite simple. All you need to do is enroll through the Social Security Administration’s website. You don’t even need to sign anything or send along any supporting documents. Additionally, the application is entirely free and you’ll be able to check its status whenever you want.
When checking your status, you can find your enrollment information by entering your:
- Postal Code
- Medicare Number
- Last Name
- Medicare Part A Effective Date
Contact us to apply for Medicare today!
If you want to make sure you choose the best Medicare plan for you, you can apply for Medicare with Good and Associates Insurance Services. In addition to our Medicare coverage, we also specialize in life insurance, Covered California plans, dental insurance, and more.
For more about signing up for insurance coverage, contact us today to get a free quote or call 1 (800) 429-9900 or (909) 613-0056.