If you are looking to understand how to apply for Medicare, these days it is simpler than ever.
And while that may be an amazing statement for anything dealing with the government, today is really is easy.
Regardless of how you choose to apply, here is a list of the information that you will need when you are applying for Medicare:
Being that you need to be 65 years old, the first thing you will need when asking how to apply for Medicare is proof of your date of birth. According to the Medicare website you can start the application process at 64 years and 8 months of age.
You will also need to let Medicare know your marital status. The reason is because the combined income of you and your spouse will determine the monthly premiums you pay for Medicare.
Next, you will need to disclose your employment status. This is due to the fact that when you are applying for Medicare, Medicare has special rules concerning the beneficiaries of enrollees in employee-sponsored health plans.
Now, looking to figure out how to apply for Medicare? Just go to the Medicare.gov website and take about 15 minutes to fill out the Medicare application form.
But if you are not that computer-savvy, just call 800-772-1313 and a representative will take you through the process.
This initial application for government Medicare will cover Medicare Part A [this is the hospitalization part of Medicare] which is at no cost to you, and Medicare Part B [this is the part that covers doctor’s visits].
Note: If you choose to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan (like the Blue Cross Senior one my mother purchased), you must apply through the company. When you are approved, you are then dis-enrolled in government Medicare.
You will pay the Part B premium [for 2012 it is $99 but this changes yearly] and for this benefit Medicare will pay in most instances 80% of the costs associated with the doctor’s visit.
The remaining 20% is either paid via assignment [this is another way of saying that the doctor won’t charge you the remaining 20%], you pay for it out-of-pocket, or you make the decision to purchase a separate Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policy, which covers the 20% that Medicare doesn’t.
Finally, one of the last decisions you will have to make will be whether you choose to own a Medicare Prescription Drug policy [Medicare Part D]. This will help you in paying for prescription drugs and is a separate policy with a separate premium.
You definitely should consider owning one at age 65, because if you do apply for one during the initial open enrollment period you could have premiums and penalties if you enroll after the enrollment period is up.
How To Apply For Medicare
For those of you who are about to turn 65, I am going to walk you through the application for Medicare so that you know exactly how to apply and what information is needed.
As I walk you through, I will be walking you through the online Medicare application. To apply by phone, call 1-800-772-1213 or if you choose to you can apply in person by visiting your local Social Security office.
The first step in the process is to visit the Social Security website. This is what you will see…
In the orange oval you see the button “Apply for Medicare Online”. In order to use this application for Medicare, you have to be…
- Less than three months before your 65th birthday (this is when the Medicare Open Enrollment Period begins for you)
- Not currently covered by any Medicare policy
- You are NOT applying for Social Security at the moment.
Clicking on the “Apply for Medicare Online” button will take you to this page…
If this is your first time filling out the Medicare application, click the appropriate button under the “To Start The Application Process” box (I have it outlined in an orange box) and you will be taken here…
This personal information section will start the application for Medicare process. As I wasn’t applying myself, I couldn’t go any further with the screenshots but you can see that the information is pretty straight forward.
One thing to note…when applying for Medicare here you are applying for the government version of Medicare…Medicare Part A and Part B.
If you are seeking a Medicare Advantage Plan, which is the private version of Medicare, you will have to contact the companies that offer such plans in your area directly.
The same holds true for applying for a Medicare Supplement Plan as well as a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
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