Common Medicare Questions
Still have questions about Medicare? We can answer them for you. We receive questions every day from our clients, and have compiled a list of those we are asked most frequently. If you don’t see the answer to the questions that you have, contact us and we will speak to you personally!
How do I enroll in Medicare when I become eligible?
There are a few ways to enroll into Medicare when eligible.
- If you are receiving retirement benefits from Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security, you will be automatically enrolled when you turn 65 in Parts A and B.
- If you are receiving disability benefits and under the age of 65, you will automatically be enrolled after 24 months of receiving disability benefits. One exception is if you have End Stage Renal Disease, you can apply for Medicare if you had a kidney transplant or are receiving regular dialysis treatments. Lastly, if you have ALS, you are automatically enrolled in the same month your disability benefits begin.
- If you aren’t receiving retirement benefits prior to or on your 65th birthday, you must sign up during your Initial Election Period (IEP) through ssa.gov, in person at a local Social Security office, or through the mail.
Note: If you are working past 65 with creditable health coverage, you can elect to delay your enrollment into Medicare. If creditable, this would allow you to enroll in the future under a Special Enrollment Period. Make sure your coverage is creditable and your employer group is over 20 employees.
- Medicare General Enrollment period is from January 1 -March 31st of each year. This is for those individuals that did not in Parts A and B during their IEP but are able to enroll in Medicare. However, these individuals do face the risk of a penalty for not enrolling when first eligible under their IEP. Beneficiaries approved during this period would begin coverage July of the year they applied.
- Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage, does not occur automatically and is considered optional. However, if you do not enroll when first eligible you would face a penalty for missing your initial enrollment period. These plans are available through private insurers are provide benefits under this program to Medicare eligible beneficiaries. To enroll, you must live in the service area of the plan and have Medicare Part A and/or Part B. You can find information on Part D on the Medicare website or contact a local Medicare Insurance professional for guidance.