How to sign up for Medicare
How to sign up for Medicare is a question we often get. Not everyone that turns 65 needs to sign up or enroll into Medicare. At times it may be in your best interest not to sign up for part of Medicare. When you sign up for Medicare you’re going to be signing up for Part A and you may or may not be signing up for Medicare Part B.
is that portion of Medicare that pays for inpatient hospital stays, nursing homes, home health care, and hospice care. Simply put, Medicare Part A is your inpatient healthcare. Medicare Part A is that portion of Medicare that you payed for with your payroll taxes. As long as you or your spouse have payed that tax for at least ten years, your Medicare Part A is provided free of charge. So when you sign up for Part A there is no additional cost. There is really no reason not to sign up for Medicare Part A.
is the part of your Medicare that covers outpatient and physician services. Medicare Part B is not free. You will have to pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Part B. How much you pay for Medicare Part B is income related. It’s based on your adjusted gross income two years ago. If your income was $85,000 or less two years ago or, $170,000 if you file jointly. Then you will just pay the Medicare Part B base rate. If your income is higher than that then you are going to pay an income adjusted premium. The monthly premium for Part B is typically deducted from you Social Security check. If you will not be receiving your monthly Social Security check yet, then Medicare will bill you for the premium on a quarterly basis.
If you are eligible for Medicare Part B and you don’t sign up there is a penalty however, not everybody needs to sign up for Part B of Medicare during their initial enrollment period. An example of someone that does not have to sign up for Medicare is an individual is who currently covered through an employer plan and plans to stay on their employer plan past Medicare eligibility. It’s important to note that there is not a penalty once the individual decides to retire because Employer Coverage is considered credible coverage.
- You have a seven month window to enroll into Medicare. This is called your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period. This seven month window is focused on your birthday month that you turn 65. This period is 3 months prior to your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and the three months following your 65th
- Medicare benefits will always start on the first day of the month even if your birthday is in the middle of the month.
- If you are already collecting Social Security you will be automatically signed up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B but you can chose to delay your Part B signup if you’re receiving benefits through an employer. Should you decide to sign up later, you would not be penalized for not having Part B of Medicare because your employer coverage is considered “credible coverage. You’ll be able to do this sign up through a Special Election Period.
How do you enroll into Medicare
- You can sign up for your Medicare through Social Security and you can do this online at SSA.gov.
- Beneficiaries can also go into your actual Social Security office and sign up in person. One thing to note is that if you are signing up for Part B at a later time other than your initial period, you will need to have the Medicare employer verification form completed by your employer. That form along with your Part B application will need to mailed or presented at an actual Social Security office. The reason for the employer verification form is so that Medicare knows you had creditable coverage. By having creditable coverage you would not be charged a late penalty for your Part B of Medicare.