Medicare seems like a confusing web of options for those who are turning 65. For that reason, many consumers rely on licensed Medicare agents for assistance.
Turning 65 brings a sense of freedom from work but with new healthcare options. While you become eligible for original Medicare, you will need to face a lot of healthcare decisions to make.
How do I sign up for Medicare?
Some people get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically, and other people need to sign up through Social Security Administration. If you are turning 65 in the next 3 months and not already getting benefits from Social Security, you will need to sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). You will not get Medicare automatically.
However, if you already receive benefits from Social Security, you will get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you are first eligible and don’t need to sign up. Medicare will send you a “Welcome to Medicare” packet 3 months before you turn 65.
In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B when you are first eligible, your enrollment may be delayed, and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty during your lifetime.
You can sign up for Medicare online at https://www.ssa.gov/ or call Social Security at (800) 772-1213. A Social Security representative will review your records to see if you qualify for Medicare.
When will I get my Medicare card?
You will receive your Medicare card in the mail about 2 weeks after you sign up. Your card is included in your official “Welcome to Medicare” packet.
Should I get Part B?
Most people should sign up for Part A when they turn 65, but certain people may choose to delay Part B. If you are currently working, and you have coverage through your job, the size of your employer determines whether you may be able to delay Part A and Part B without having to pay a penalty if you enroll later.
Your employer has fewer than 20 employees:
You should sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B when you’re first eligible.
In this case, Medicare pays before your other coverage.
Your employer has 20 or more employees:
Ask your HR manager whether you have group health plan coverage (as defined by the IRS).
People with group health coverage based on current employment may be able to delay Part A and Part B and won’t have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty if they enroll later.
If you want to delay both Part A and Part B coverage, you don’t need to do anything when you turn 65.
If you’re eligible for premium-free Part A, you can enroll in Part A at any time after you are first eligible for Medicare. Your Part A coverage will go back (retroactively) 6 months from when you sign up (but no earlier than the first month you’re eligible for Medicare).
Why do you need to work with an independent Medicare agency?
- Independent brokers can provide you with options from an array of carriers in your area
- A broker can help tailor your Medicare insurance options to fit your needs and preferences
- We are all busy. A knowledgeable broker can save you time on research and plan comparison
- Working with a broker does not cost you anything extra.
- Local brokers can provide more detailed knowledge of the plans available in your area
Skyline Benefit is an independent Medicare agency with a network of major carrier options including Blue Shield, SCAN, Humana, United Healthcare, Aetna, and Anthem. Your relationship with Skyline Benefit does not end at the sale. Instead, we will be an advocate for you in many years to come, helping you address concerns with your insurance coverage. We can help you sign up for your Medicare and review your healthcare coverage needs annually so that, as time goes by, you will continue to have the right plan for any changing needs.