Medicare coverage for disabilities

There are several things to consider during Open Enrollment for Medicare. First of all, it is not a requirement to sign up for Medicare online. You can apply for Medicare in person or over the phone, but if you want to save time, finishing your application online is probably your best method.

Creating an account online is a good way to get personalized information regarding your Medicare coverage for disabilities, costs, and claims. You can make your payments for your premiums online, select your pharmacy and drug list, and make it personalized, to help you compare your options for Part D during open enrollment. You can review your Medicare claims as quickly as they are processed, and handle other things quicker and without using any paper.

If you haven’t received your red, white, and blue Medicare card, you can retrieve your Medicare number by signing into your online Social Security account.

The first step in applying for Medicare online is by going to the Social Security Administration’s online website and creating an account.

It is not necessary to sign up for Social Security and Medicare at the same time, so you don’t have to worry about that. The online program will have a box to check for whether or not you want to sign up for one program or both programs during the process of application.

Next, they will ask you for the basics like your telephone number, email address, actual address and your name of course. Then they will ask you for your social security number to finish the application.

Next, you will need to provide proof of who you are like your driver’s license, birth certification, and proof of your U.S. citizenship. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will need to provide your permanent resident card number.

Choosing Medicare’s Part A and B

Now, this can be a bit tricky. While applying for Medicare, you will have to make a decision about whether to apply for Medicare Parts A and Part B, or Part A only. Medicare Part A covers hospital services and Medicare Part B covers medical services such as outpatient care and doctor’s services. Medicare Part B provides coverage for doctor’s visits, lab work, health preventive care, kidney dialysis, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Medicare Part B requires you to pay a premium, if you are still employed and have employee health insurance (group plan), you might be better off just applying for Medicare Part A (hospital) insurance, and that way you won’t have to pay the premium that comes with Medicare Part B (medical). Now, if you choose to enroll in Medicare Part A only, you will need to provide them with your employment start date along with the date your employee group coverage started. If you have been working for the same company for many years, you may have to do some digging through your files.

Bear in mind if you are covered through your spouse’s group plan, you can still apply for Part A only yourself. So, you will have to provide the same information; your spouse’s employee start date and their date coverage started to complete the application process.

Paying Medicare Premiums Online

Medicare Part B premiums are automatically taken from your monthly Social Security benefits.

If you are not enrolled yet for Social Security retirement benefits, or you do not qualify, you can make automatic payments from your debit card or from your bank account or through Medicare’s Easy Pay program. If you want to make electronic payments and you want more control, the quickest way is through your online Medicare account. You can make monthly payments using your credit card, savings account, or your debit card.

To make payments online, log in to your Medicare account and click on Select My Premiums from the drop-down menu under your name, then click on Pay Now. Choose the amount you wish to pay, and your payment method. It will link you to the U.S. Treasury’s site to complete your transaction.

To pay the premium, use your online Medicare account. Then you will get a confirmation number for your payment. It takes about 5 business days to process your payment from your savings or checking account. Credit card payments are usually completed faster.

Your online account can be very helpful during open enrollment. You can save your list of pharmacies and prescription names and doses you use regularly. You can get a headstart by comparing the Part D, prescription drug plans in your area. During Open Enrollment, if you need to change plans for any reason is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year, with coverage starting Jan. 1.

After logging into your online Medicare account, you can click on Confirm Your Drug List | Add Recently Filled Drugs to see a list of the prescriptions you filled in the past 12 months. You can then pick the prescription you want to continue to take to add to your list of drugs. This way, your drug list will not include drug prescriptions you have only filled one time, for instance, antibiotics.

Enroll On Time

Don’t panic if you missed your initial enrollment period for applying for Medicare, you will be able to do it at a later day. Important: For every annual  period you are still eligible for Medicare converge, but miss the initial enrollment window, you may receive a 10% surcharge on your Part B premiums.

If you are still employed and covered by your employee group plan during the initial enrollment window, you will be able to apply during the Medicare 8 Month Special Enrollment Period (to be discussed further here), later on and will not suffer any penalty. However, enrolling on time can only help your finances to be sure you have medical insurance, especially when you need it.

8-Month Special Enrollment Period

If you have reached the age of 65 and you are still employed, you may be qualified for delaying Medicare, if our employer has creditable coverage. The 9-Month Special Enrollment Period, allows employees to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital), Part B(medical), Part C (Medicare Advantage, and Part D (prescription drug coverage). Of course, this is if you did not enroll in Medicare already. You will, in this case, have zero penalties.

The Special Enrollment Period can be a bit tricky because you only can apply for Part C (Medicare Advantage) or Part D (prescription drug coverage) in the first 2 months, if you don’t apply for Part C and Part D in the first 2 months, you will be penalized for late enrollment for Part D, even if you decided upon a Medicare Advantage plan.

Signing up for Medigap During the AEP

Medicare Supplement Insurance is sold by private insurance companies. It helps to fill the “gaps”, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, in Original Medicare. Original Medicare pays for a lot, but not for everything. A Medigap (Medicare Supplement Insurance) policy can help with the remaining cost of health care.

You absolutely can enroll in a Medigap plan during AEP (Medicare Annual Election Period) or anytime during the year. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Prescription Drug coverage (Medicare Part D), there is no federal requirement for annual enrollment in a Medigap plan.

If your six-month initial enrollment period is over and you apply for a Medigap plan, the insurer for Medigap most likely will use medical underwriting to determine your premium if you are deemed eligible.

11 States in the U.S. offer a yearly window within which Medigap enrollees can pick from some other plans without using medical underwriting.

Medicare Claims Are Faster With an Online Account

Did you know you can go over and review your Medicare Part A and Part B claims within 24 hours of being processed online? You won’t have to wait for your quarterly Medicare summary notice. Reviewing your claims online helps you to quickly spot potential fraud or any errors.

You can click on the search bar to see your claims by the type of claim being processed, by date range, or by claim number. You will be able to view the date of the service, type, and provider of each claim. You can also see the Medicare-approved amount, what Medicare paid, and what amount you may be billed. Then if you have a Medigap plan, you will be able to view what part of the bill will be covered, the same goes for any other supplemental plan or retiree.

You can get rid of that extra paper, and view your Medicare summary notice, which has a separate report for claims, hospitalization (Part A), outpatient services claims, and physicians (Part B) for the last three months. You can choose to opt out of the mailed version, sign up for eMSNs (electronic Medicare summary notices), and get monthly emails every month that you are using Medicare Services.

Senior Healthcare Advisors works with you to maximize your Medicare benefits! Our licensed Medicare specialists will guide you through the process of enrolling in the best Medicare Insurance Plan that best meets your needs and suits your wallet, as long as you qualify. We can help. Call us today at 888.809.2440 TTY/711

***Disclaimer: A Senior Healthcare medical specialist has reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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