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couple using a medicare guide to learn how to sign up for medicareTens of thousands of Americans retire every year. The number will only increase over the next few years as the Baby Boom generation ages. This means more and more senior adults will need to educate themselves about Social Security benefits and Medicare. Fortunately, SeniorSmart is here to be your Medicare guide.

Medicare Enrollment

If you are currently over 65 or will be turning 65 in the next few months, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. Although Medicare is a federal benefit, you aren’t automatically enrolled. However, if you are already getting Social Security benefits, you will be enrolled automatically when you’re first eligible. So you won’t need to sign up. Thus, it’s important that your Social Security status is clear so that you can get the Medicare benefits you need. SeniorSmart can walk you through the Social Security sign-up process as well. Our concierge services can even offer advice and guidance about when to access your benefits so that your specific needs are met.

Medicare is a complex federal program but it is so because it is so comprehensive and serving so many individuals and families. Having support as you navigate through the various Medicare plan options can make a real difference allowing you or your loved ones to not miss out on benefits and be guaranteed the healthcare they need.

The two main components of Medicare are Part A and Part B. The great advantage of Medicare is that individuals can use any doctor or hospital anywhere in the U.S. However, if you are in need of prescription drug coverage, you’ll need to enroll in a separate plan called Medicare Part D. To help pay your out-of-pocket costs, you should also shop for supplemental coverage. These are called Medigap policies and supplement Medicare insurance. It’s important to educate yourself about these options because if you don’t get Part D or a Medigap policy when first eligible, you may end up paying more later on.

How to Sign Up for Medicare

There are several ways to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. For example, individuals can:

  • Enroll online at www.SocialSecurity.gov
  • Contact the Social Security Administration by phone at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM
  • Go to your local Social Security Administration office and enroll in-person.

During your Initial Enrollment Period or IEP, the seven month period beginning three months before you turn 65, you may have to manually enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B (if you are not already receiving Social Security benefits). If you are not yet receiving retirement benefits and are close to turning 65, you can still sign up for Medicare. Also, if you decide to delay your Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRB) beyond age 65, there is an option to enroll.

Some individuals may not be eligible for retirement benefits from Social Security or the RRB. If this is the case, you will not be automatically enrolled in Medicare. But, you can still sign up during your IEP. You may not be able to get premium-free Medicare Part A, and the cost of your monthly Part A premium will depend on how long you worked and paid Medicare taxes. You will still have to pay a Medicare Part B premium.

Let SeniorSmart Be Your Medicare Guide

Understanding your options and what Medicare plans will be the best for you can require guidance. SeniorSmart’s mission is to make accessing the resources and information you need to make the best decision regarding Medicare easy. So, following our Medicare sign-up guide is just one way you can rest assured you’re making the right moves in retirement. We also provide information and advice on the following:

So reach out to us at 205.460.1124 to learn more about our services and how we can design customized advice for your specific needs.