What You Need to Know About Medicare’s General Enrollment Period

What You Need to Know About Medicare’s General Enrollment Period

Too many American seniors are not aware of the healthcare benefits available to them. Every person at least 65 years of old (or a few months short of reaching 65) should be familiar with the Medicare enrollment process or have a caretaker who is familiar with it. Prepare for Medicare’s general enrollment period with these steps.

How to Enroll

The initial Medicare enrollment period for plans A and B begins three months before you turn 65 and continues for seven months starting from that period. In other words, if you will be turning 65 on June 15, 2016, then initial enrollment begins March 15 and ends Oct 15, 2016.

Anyone who missed their deadline can still enroll during the Medicare general enrollment period, which starts at the start of the New Year and lasts through March 31st. Keep in mind, though, that this constitutes as late enrollment, and you may be penalized with a higher premium.

There is also a special enrollment period for those still working and have an existing healthcare provider through their employer or union. This period typically begins when their work coverage expires.

For those under the age of 65 and currently on Social Security or receiving disability benefits under the Railroad Retirement Board, you will automatically get Part A and B and receive your Medicare card three months prior to turning 65 or when you reach your 25th month of disability benefits, whichever comes first.

How to Apply

To enroll, visit your local Social Security office or submit a form electronically at ssa.gov. You will need to submit form CMS-855. To make the process run more smoothly, you should have the following documents handy:

  • Original birth certificate
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Last year’s W-2 forms
  • DD-214 (if you were enlisted in the US military prior to 1968)

Even if you apply online, all documents listed above will either need to be mailed or submitted to your nearest Social Security office.

Simplefill helps patients apply for Medicare and determine if they qualify for additional plans, such as Plan D, which provides medication assistance and coverage. Apply with us today to have a friendly advocate handle the logistics and paperwork on your behalf.