When and How Do You Sign Up for Medicare?
After seeing those Medicare taxes deducted from your paychecks throughout your career, it becomes time to claim your own benefits. But like most large, complex government programs, signing up for Medicare isn’t as easy as it sounds. You probably have a few questions, such as…
When do you sign up for Medicare? Medicare eligibility begins when you turn age 65. You can begin the enrollment process starting three months before the month in which you turn 65, throughout that month, or for three months afterward.
Do I have to sign up for Medicare? If you turn 65 and you’re not covered by another healthcare plan, you should sign up for Medicare. If you don’t, you could face a penalty in the form of higher premiums later.
If you’re still covered by an employer-provided healthcare plan, the rules become a bit more complex. Depending upon the size of your employer, enrolling in Medicare might be an option or a requirement. Talk to your human resources department or consult with an insurance agent who is familiar with Medicare plans.
How do you sign up for Medicare? If you claim your Social Security benefits before you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) when your birthday rolls around. But if you want to investigate additional programs such as a Medicare Part D (prescription) program, a MediGap plan, or an Advantage plan, you should speak with an insurance professional about your options.
Otherwise, those not already enrolled in Social Security will be responsible for their own Medicare enrollment. You can apply directly through Medicare.gov, but that might not be the best way to sort through your options. Speaking to a qualified insurance agent about your Medicare options will help you to learn the ins and outs of different plans available to you, so that you can choose the plan(s) that best benefit your situation.
Are you about to turn 65? For more information on Medicare enrollment, contact us. There is never a charge for our services, so you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to learn about all of the plans available to you.