Enrolling to a Medicare plan requires you to go through a series of procedures to ensure that you sign up for each Medicare cover. If you are already registered in the social security funds then you automatically enroll to the Medicare plan after attaining 65 years. However if you are not receiving the social security benefits you should apply for the Medicare cover while approaching your 65th birthday. The application process is quite simple but you need to be careful to avoid making mistakes during the registration which would call for penalties and some extra costs. The entre process may be a bit confusing and therefore this articles provides a clear guideline on the Medicare eligibility and how should sign up to the plan.
The Medicare benefits
Enrolling to a Medicare cover offers quite a range of medical benefits which may be categorized into two parts; A, B, C and D. Part A of the Medicare plan covers hospital bills during your stay in the facility, while part B of the cover takes care of the physician fees. Part C of the plan offers extra medical benefits including dental care, vision and the general wellbeing. You are allowed to apply for the extra benefits if you have already signed up for both part A and B Medicare benefits. Part D of the Medicare plan covers the prescription medications.
When to apply for Medicare
As mentioned earlier on, you are eligible to apply for Medicare once you turn 65. You are allowed to begin the registration 3 months before turning 65 and the enrollment is extended by 3 months after the month that you are turning 65. This gives a total of 7 months window duration to make the enrollment. If you need to apply for the part B Medicare benefits, then the process could be delayed if you made the application on the month that you are turning 65. It is therefore advisable to make the application earlier on to avoid the delays. Late applications calls for some financial penalties and therefore it is always important to make your enrollment during the window period to avoid such costs. You should also remember to fill everything correctly to avoid mistakes that would call for some extra costs.
If you are already receiving the social security benefits then you will automatically be enrolled to both part A and B of the Medicare plan beginning from the month that you turn 65. The Medicare card will be emailed to your social security mail address. You will also receive some documents providing information on some of the decisions that you may need to make concerning the Medicare plans.
Eligibility for the Medicare plan
There are quite a number of factors that you may need to consider while enrolling to the Medicare plan. Some of these considerations includes;
Age is one of the major factors to consider while signing up the Medicare plan. You are only eligible after attaining 65 years. At this time you are given about 7 months to complete the enrollment. Delays may also cause some delays in your medical coverage and therefore it is important to sign up as soon as possible.
If you are already receiving the social security benefits or you have a railroad retirement board disability benefit for more than 2 years then age is not a consideration at this point. You are eligible to enroll to the Medicare plan.
You can only access the Medicare health benefits if you a U.S citizen or a permanent resident and have lived in the U.S for at least 5 years.
If you have a spouse
Unlike the health insurance covers, your spouse cannot enjoy your Medicare cover benefits. To access the Medicare benefits, they must be eligible for the specific Medicare requirements including age, disability and other factors.
If you are not however receiving the social security benefits then you can sign up for the Medicare benefits. The application is available online and all you need to do is simply browse through the Medicare website and provide the required details.
How to apply for Medicare
If you are not interested in the online application, then you can quickly sign up by calling the social security number 1-800-772-1213. If you have a health insurance cover then that does not exclude you from the application either. The health insurance plan becomes a secondary option at this time. If you did not make your Medicare application on time then you can wait for the open enrollment that is open each year from January to March. If you sign up within this period then your Medicare will be effective from July 1 and it is at this time that you may begin enjoying the Medicare benefits.
Most people at the age of 65, are only signed up for the Part A of the Medicare plan. This happens following their access to the health insurance plans. After retiring, you may need to add Part B of the Medicare plan after 8 months of your retire or the end of the health insurance cover.
What happens after the application?
After submitting your online application, the application will be reviewed to ensure that you have provided correct information regarding the application. The social security authorities may also contact you in case they need more information or if they need to access some of your personal documents.
Once all the necessary information is accessed your application is processed and an email is sent through your address to make a decision regarding the Medicare plan. After making a decision, you will receive the Medicare card on your email address once the application is approved and additional information on the Medicare packages that you have applied for.
If you are looking forward to applying for a Medicare cover then you need to ensure that you are eligible for such an application. If you have complied with all the specific requirements then you can start making the application 3 months prior to your 65th birthday.