The Medicare Enrollment Checklist: What You Need to Know

What You Need To Do In Order To Enroll For Medicare

The Medicare enrollment process is complicated and confusing. However, this Medicare enrollment checklist can help you understand the process and give you a better understanding of how to enroll in Medicare.

The first thing that will happen is, if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, your local Social Security Administration office will send out a letter asking when you want to start receiving Medicare coverage. The date they select for this must be on or about your 65th birthday. If there has been any change in your marital status since last year’s election then let them know immediately because it may affect whether or not someone else could also receive their share of the monthly benefit checks from both spouses. Your spouse will need to make his/her own decision as well unless he/she received retirement benefits based upon your work record before he/she turned 62.

Medicare Enrollment Checklist

Then, there is the matter of Part A and Part B. Most people are automatically enrolled in both Parts A and B but if you don’t want to have Part B then you will need to let them know within eight months of your 65th birthday or during the annual enrollment period from October 15th to December 07th each year. If you do not sign up for Part B when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare coverage. The monthly premium for Part B may go up ten percent for each full 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B but did not sign up for it.

Part D prescription drug coverage can be added to your Medicare coverage. If you want Part D, you will need to sign up for it during the initial enrollment period from January 01st through March 31st each year or if you are already receiving Social Security benefits then from May 15th through June 30th each year. You can also enroll in a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) any time of year as long as there is an open enrollment period going on at that time and it would be either with one of the original Medicare plans or another PDP offered by a different insurance company.

If none of these apply to you right now but think they may sometime within the next three years, calling Social Security so they can send out information explaining how those things affect your enrollment is a good idea.

The last thing you need to know about Medicare enrollment is that, if you are still working and have health insurance through your job, you may not need to do anything right now. However, it’s important to keep track of when your company’s plan will end and whether or not you will be automatically enrolled in Part A and/or Part B at that time. If you don’t want either of those parts then you will need to take action before the automatic enrollment happens.