Medicare: How To Sign Up

Learn what you need to know about signing up for Medicare Part A and Part B.

Are You Turning 65?

Congratulations! You have reached another milestone in your life. You are 65 or soon to be 65. But you find yourself overwhelmed with daily calls from telemarketers and a ton of mail from  insurance companies. 

You have several options but you don’t know where to start. You research online but are now even more confused.

I’m here to help take that stress and confusion away. I’ll guide you through the steps to take and educate you on what you need to know about Medicare.

Signing up for Medicare

If you are already receiving social security or railroad retirement benefits, then you will automatically get Medicare Part A and B.

Your Medicare benefits will start the 1st of your birth month. If your birthday is on the 1st, then your Medicare benefits will start the 1st of the previous month.

If you are not receiving social security or railroad retirement benefits, then you will have to sign up for Medicare. You can sign up as soon as 3 months before your birth month.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up online at the Social Security website or you can sign up in person at your local Social Security office. If you plan on going in person, it would probably be best to call your local SSA office and set an appointment. For more information you can call the Social Security Administration national line at (800) 772-1213.

Do I need to sign up for Part A and Part B?

If you have worked for at least 10 years full time and paid Medicare taxes, you will get no-premium Part A.

Enrolling into Part B is optional and comes with a monthly premium. If you delay your enrollment into Part B, you may face a Late Enrollment Penalty when you decide to enroll at a later time.

To avoid a penalty, you will need to enroll in both Part A and Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, which starts 3 months before your birth month and ends 3 months after your birth month (7 months total).

You may be able to delay Part B without being penalized if you are still employed and covered through an employer group plan. You should check in with your employer to see if  they require you to sign up for Medicare Part A and B. Also, find out how it will work with your employer group coverage, if you’re still eligible to keep it.

I’ll be losing employer group coverage soon. What is the next step?

When you retire and drop your employer group plan, you will have 8 months to sign up for Part B before incurring a penalty.

If you’ve missed your chance to sign up for Part B, you will have to enroll between January 1 and March 31. This is the General Enrollment Period. Your Part B effective date will be July 1.

A Late Enrollment Penalty of 10% of the standard Part B premium will apply for every 12-month you didn’t have it.

*Contact me if you need assistance with the process or have any questions.