When you first enroll in Medicare and during certain times of the year, you can choose how you get your Medicare coverage. Below are the 2 main ways to get Medicare:
You Can Add:
You Can Also Add:
Some examples include coverage from a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy, or coverage from a former employer or union.
Medicare Advantage (Part C)
Some Plans Also Include:
You can enroll into Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B in the following ways.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213
- Visit https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/
- Visit a local Social Security Office
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). You can enroll in Medicare at anytime during this seven-month period, which includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months following your 65th birthday. The date when your Medicare coverage begins depends on when you sign up.
- If you enroll during the first three months of your IEP, coverage begins the month in which you first become eligible for Medicare.
- If you enroll during the fourth month of your IEP, coverage begins the month following the month of enrollment.
- If you enroll during the fifth month of your IEP, coverage begins the second month following the month of enrollment.
- If you enroll during the sixth or seventh month of your IEP, coverage begins the third month following the month of enrollment.
For each 12-month period you delay enrollment in Medicare Part B, you will have to pay a 10% Part B premium penalty, unless you have insurance based on your or your spouse’s current work (job-based insurance) or are eligible for a Medicare Savings Program (MSP).
Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $5,000 per year. To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.
- Applying online at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp
- Calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and requesting an application be mailed to you or applying over the phone
- Applying in person at your local Social Security office.
Medicare calculates the penalty by multiplying 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium” ($32.74 in 2020) times the number of full, uncovered months you didn’t have Part D or creditable coverage. The monthly premium is rounded to the nearest $. 10 and added to your monthly Part D premium.
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