How To Enroll In Medicare

Many individuals receive their Medicare Part A and Part B benefits automatically if they have been receiving social security benefits before turning 65. Otherwise, you must contact the Social Security Administration to complete your Medicare enrollment application. Alternatively, you may also complete your application online using the Social Security Administration website. 

The Qualifications

You are entitled to Medicare Part A when you turn 65 and have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, but even if you don’t meet this criterion, you can still get Medicare Part A with a monthly premium. The premium for Medicare Part A in 2022 is up to $499 monthly. You may also be entitled to Part A and can enroll in Medicare Part B if you have been disabled for more than 24 months. You are eligible starting the 25th month of being disabled. In addition to Medicare Part A, you may voluntarily apply for Medicare Part B if you don’t have any other medical coverage. The premium for Medicare Part B in 2022 is $170.10 for most Medicare recipients.

Do I Need Medicare If I Am Still Working?

This depends on your health situation and healthcare needs. If you worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years, you automatically qualify for Part A without having a monthly premium. In this case, you can decide to delay starting your Part A benefits if you currently receive those benefits through an employer or union (or covered under your spouse’s employer coverage). You can also decide to delay your Part B benefits as well, especially since Part B Coverage automatically comes with a monthly premium. Many Medicare beneficiaries take the opportunity when they have employer coverage to save on Part B premiums if their employer coverage is as good as Medicare’s coverage.

A delayed start to Medicare coverage usually triggers a late enrollment penalty fee when you decide to get coverage later on, but having credible coverage as good as Medicare’s prevents you from having this penalty. After your credible coverage ends, you have a Special Enrollment Period of 8 months to enroll in your Medicare coverage. If you miss this window, you will have to wait until the another special enrollment period called the General Enrollment Period which also runs simultaneously with the MA-OEP season from January 1 to March 31. When you enroll during the General Enrollment Period, it may trigger a late enrollment penalty fee.

Additional Medicare Benefits With Medicare

Medicare additional benefits are provided through Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans are plans that adds extra benefits to your Medicare Part A and B benefits and/or your Medicaid benefits. The plans and additional benefits depend on the area you live in. Some areas are fruitfully adorned with multiple benefits bearing plans, while some areas have little to no Advantage plan benefits. 

Medicare Advantage plans are offered in different program types in order to suit your situation. Plan types include PPO plans (Preferred Provider Organization)HMO plans (Health Maintenance Organization), PFFS plans (Private Fee-for-Service) and SNPs (Special Needs Plans).

The availability and cost of these Medicare Advantage plans varies by county, but most Medicare Advantage plans come with a $0 dollar premium and $0 copay for primary care doctor, $0 deductible and $0 preventative services like a colonoscopy. Medicare Advantage plans are also well-known for having additional features and benefits like dental coverage, vision, hearing aides, and prescription drug coverage. These plans are especially attractive because these benefits do not come with Medicare Part A or Part B. To have these benefits, you must enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during a qualifying enrollment period. Read the Medicare Enrollment Guide to see if you qualify to enroll today.