How Do I Enroll?
Medicare Beginner Enrollment Help
Medicare can seem overwhelming when you are not familiar with the program. If you are new to Medicare and don't know where to begin, you can follow the simple steps below to help you learn how to prepare for Medicare enrollment.
Step One - Determine Eligibility
Medicare enrollment will vary according to your circumstances. The first step you need to take for Medicare enrollment is to see if you are eligible. If you can answer yes to one of the following questions then you should meet the eligibility requirements.
Are you age 65 or older?
Are you under 65 with certain disabilities?
Do you have End-Stage Renal Disease (kidney failure that requires transplant or dialysis)?
If you are almost 65 years of age and already receive Social Security Benefits, then you will not have to do anything. The month in which you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. You should receive your Medicare card three months prior to your birth date via mail. If you want to opt out of Part B coverage, you will need to follow the instructions that accompany your Medicare card.
If you are almost 65 years of age and do not receive Social Security Benefits, then you have the option of applying for Medicare and your Social Security Benefits at the same time. You will not be automatically enrolled. You'll need to apply at the beginning of your seven-month initial enrollment period (three months prior to your 65th birthday) to make sure your coverage start date will not be delayed.
Step Two - Gather Information
Once you have determined your Medicare eligibility, then you should gather all of your personal information on your current health care and/or prescription drug coverage. You will need to see if the coverage you have works with Medicare.
You will need to make a list of any drugs you currently use (include name of drug and dosage). Take notes on what you expect out of your insurance coverage, such as more coverage, a lower premium, etc. All the information you gather will help you to compare and select the coverage that will best meet your needs.
Step Three - Choose A Medicare Plan
Knowing what Medicare is and how it works will help you to maximize your options and make the best choices. Familiarize yourself with each Medicare Plan (Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D). Each plan offers unique benefits that every person may need at some point in their life, so don't assume that you will not need a certain plan. Carefully consider each plan with this in mind.
Step Four - Determine If You Qualify for Additional Assistance
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover every medical need. You may be eligible for one or more of the programs that provide additional coverage such as Medicaid, Medigap, etc. Costs that you may have to incur are co-insurance, co-pays, deductibles, or services not covered by a Medicare plan. There are several programs that you can research and apply for to help maximize your needs and reduce your health care worries.
If you get confused, don't be afraid to ask questions. You have resources available for you to contact and get your questions answered. Once you are ready to make a decision, you can enroll in the Medicare program that best suits your needs. If or when future health needs arise, you'll be glad you took the time.