Medicare is a federal health program designed to cover certain healthcare expenses at the cost of monthly premiums, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. The program is open to citizens aged 65 or older and individuals under 65 who meet other qualifying requirements. Now, when it comes to enrollment, there are several ways this can be done. For example, if you receive Social Security benefits, this may affect how you are enrolled in the program.
Social Security and Medicare
Social Security provides financial assistance to citizens who are no longer working, while Medicare provides health insurance. If you get Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare once you are eligible.
If you are under 65 and disabled, then you will also be automatically enrolled, but only after you have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 months. On the 25th month, you will be automatically enrolled. Those with End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis will be automatically enrolled without the waiting period.
Once you are eligible to enroll, Medicare and the Social Security Administration will send a welcome packet to you, showing your Medicare choices and how to enroll. Then, about three months before your Medicare coverage actually starts, you should receive your Medicare card in the mail.
If you are not automatically enrolled, no worries! You can still take advantage of enrollment periods, such as the Initial Enrollment Period, General Enrollment Period, and the Special Enrollment Period.
The Initial Enrollment Period is the first time you will be eligible to enroll in Medicare. It starts three months before you turn 65, then ends three months after you turn 65. If you do not enroll while this period is active, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty when you later enroll.
The next enrollment period is known as the General Enrollment Period. This period is another period you can use to enroll in Medicare if you missed your Initial Enrollment Period. However, enrolling in the period can subject you to late enrollment penalties. The General Enrollment period starts on January 1 and ends on March 31.
The other period is known as the Special Enrollment Period and is only available for those who have gone through specific circumstances that would have caused them to delay their initial enrollment in Medicare. For example, if you had a group health plan when you first became eligible, but now you no longer have its coverage, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare. Also, one great benefit of this enrollment period is that you will not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
For more information and assistance regarding your enrollment into Medicare, give us a call today at 512-900-3008.