Are you soon to turn 65? If yes, this is the best time for you to think about Medicare enrollment! Many people keep wondering about the best time to enroll in Medicare Health Plans and waste crucial time. To help you learn all about Medicare health plans enrollment and the best time to enroll, we have put together all the information you need.
To answer your question simply, the best time for people to sign up for Medicare is the age of 65, and it is even better if you apply a few months before 65 to avail Medicare as soon as you turn 65. You can apply 3 months before your 65th birthday as that’s how long it takes to process the application.
The enrollment period for Medicare starts when you are three months closer to your 65th birthday and ends three months you turn 65. It is very important to ensure that you don’t miss your initial enrollment period, as after that, you may have to pay penalties on a monthly basis for as long as you have part B coverage. If you wait for a longer time before enrolling, you can expect the penalty to increase with every passing month.
You should apply for Medicare as soon as you are eligible. If you don’t do it then, try enrolling during the GEP (General Enrollment Period) This period runs for 2 months, starting from the 1st of January the 1st and going all the way up to March 31st. If you enroll then, your coverage will begin from the following month of July.
Besides that, there is an Open Enrollment Period that starts from the 15th of October till the 7th of December. This period is also called the Annual Election Period. Now that you know when you need to enroll in your Medicare program, let’s learn how you can do that:
To enroll in Original Medicare Part A and B, you can contact your Social Security Office or complete the process online. If you are already getting benefits from Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board, you do not have to worry about enrollment. Such individuals are automatically enrolled.
If you do not enroll in part B in the 7 months allotted to you, you will face a penalty. However, if you are working and have health coverage, you can opt for Part A, and you won’t have to pay a premium. You can even avoid penalties and delay enrollment if you have coverage from your spouse’s payroll.
Once you have enrolled in either of the plans, you get to decide whether you want to continue the Original Medicare parts A and B or opt for part C. Part C is called Medicare advantage. If you opt for Medicare Advantage, you will still have to pay a premium for Part B, and a private insurance company will help you. They will include prescription drug coverage and more benefits.
After that, you are given two options depending on your choices in the step before this. If you choose to stick with the Original Medicare program, you will have to buy a program for prescription drugs. On the other hand, if you opt for the Medicare Advantage program, you will automatically receive prescription drug insurance.
There are additional steps for other benefits. If you want more insights on the enrollment procedure, you can contact The Health Exchange Agency as they have the expertise to assist you!