If you are age 65, or you soon will be, then you’re probably thinking about enrollment in Medicare for your health care coverage for the very first time. For some people, going with Original Medicare – which includes Medicare Part A and Part B – can provide sufficient protection in terms of hospital and doctors’ services benefits. But there are a lot of additional options out there to consider – MAPD, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Part D – the choices can be daunting.
Our post, “Should I Stick With Original Medicare” is a good one to explore coverage options above and beyond Original Medicare. But before we get to all of that, let’s just start with the basics. The first step is actually signing up for Original Medicare, and that’s relatively easy!
For most of us, when you turn 65 and start drawing Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A automatically. You’ll also get Medicare Part B automatically. However, if you don’t want Medicare Part B (perhaps you’re still working and covered under an employer’s plan) there’s a form in the packet you can fill out and defer Medicare Part B until a later date.
While most people get Medicare A and B automatically, lots of folks prefer to actually talk to the Social Security Administration to make sure they’re not missing anything and understand their options. There are a few ways in which you can secure your enrollment in Original Medicare benefits.
Should you decide to talk to the Social Security Administration in person, don’t just stroll by and walk in. You will have to to make an appointment with a representative at your local Social Security office. Social Security does not have an online scheduling feature, so you’ll have to call.
Alternatively, if you opt to enroll for your Original Medicare benefits over the phone, you can do so by calling Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.
Just like signing up for any other type of insurance, though, before you move forward in applying for your Medicare health care coverage, it can be helpful for you to have various paperwork available in order to adequately move you through the process.
Prior to moving forward with your enrollment in Medicare, there are several important documents that you should have readily available. These include the following items:
For most people, enrollment in Medicare Part A and Part B is automatic. This is typically the case for those who are already receiving Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, and who are also age 65. If, however, you are not yet eligible for these benefits, you will not be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare coverage and you should reach out to the Social Security Administration to review your particular situation.
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Author Bio: Ben started Prepare for Medicare in 2014 to help people help people get objective answers to questions about Medicare. He’s held leadership roles at numerous Fortune 500 Medicare health insurers in product development, sales, marketing and strategy for over 20 years.