For many individuals, the intricacies involving Medicare may not be easy to grasp. Thus, the program has been further broken into four parts. The said program covers everything from getting care at the hospital or a doctor to getting the necessary prescription drugs. If you are unsure, on the procedure of enrolling in Medicare, read on.
Eligibility criteria for enrolling in Medicare
- As a legal resident of the United States for more than five years or if you are a citizen of the country, you are eligible for Medicare. The other aspects are as follows:
- You are 65 years or older. Additionally, either you or your spouse has rendered services for a minimum period of ten years (40 quarters) in any Medicare-covered employment.
- You are 65 years or older. Additionally, either you or your spouse has rendered services for a minimum period of 30-39 quarters in any Medicare-covered employment.
- You are 65 years or older. Additionally, either you or your spouse has rendered services for a minimum period of 0-29 quarters in any Medicare-covered employment. In this case, you ought to enroll as a voluntary enrollee. Additionally, you must pay the full premiums of Part A. Take note, low-income programs might assist you in paying these premiums, provided you meet the income and asset levels. The other possibilities are discussed below.
How to enroll in Medicare
- Primarily, you can enroll in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B in the following ways:
- Register an application at www.socialsecurity.gov
- You can also call Social Security at the specific numbers on weekdays from 7 am to 7 pm.
- Lastly, you can visit the local Social Security office and enroll in the program.
There are certain situations when Medicare enrollment occurs automatically. So, you can expect to get the much-needed Medicare coverage without having to apply for one. Let us explore these criteria in detail.
Retirement benefits recipients
Anyone, receiving Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security retirement benefits as soon as you reach the age of 65, you automatically enroll for Medicate Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). The condition is, you must sign up for Medicare Part B during the time of signing up the retirement benefits.
Considering, you are a resident outside of the 50 United States or D.C. the process of enrollment in Medicare Part A will happen automatically. However, you have to make the arrangements for enrolling in Medicare Part B.
Recipients of Disability Benefits
If you are not yet 65 but are receiving specific disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board or Social Security, you stand a chance to qualify for Medicare, automatically. It will occur after two years of receiving such disability benefits. Remember, any individuals dealing with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you can enroll for the Medicare coverage before the completion of the 24 months.
If you decide against getting Medicare Part B
As you can see, in certain circumstances, you automatically get enrolled for Medicare Part A and B. However, if you wish to discontinue the Part B coverage, you have the option of dropping it. Most certainly, before the commencement of the Medicare coverage, you will receive a blue, red, or white-colored card. Go through the instructions and send it back.
If you enrolled for Medicare via Social Security, then you must get in touch with the concerned authorities and know the procedure of dropping it. In situations, where the coverage has already begun, you can still drop out from it, by following the procedure mentioned above.
Medicare Part B late-enrolment penalty
Any individual, who does not sign up for Medicare Part B, despite being eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty till the tenure you have the Medicare coverage. The monthly premium of Part B can be 10% or higher for every one year period for which you were eligible but you decided not to take it.
In Specific exceptions like if you have health coverage through an employer’s health plan or via your spouse’s employer plan, you can decide delaying getting Medicare Part B. In this case, you do not require you to pay a late-enrollment penalty.
Things to remember
Medicare excludes certain payments, thus, you must consider the way you will arrange paying for those things. For example, Medicare does not cover dental, vision, or hearing care. You can decide to pair the Medicare with a supplemental policy that should save you from spending out of your pocket.