Enrolling in Medicare
Step One - Determine Eligibility
Enrolling in Medicare 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
Step Four - Determine If You Qualify for Additional Assistance
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.
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