Medicare can be challenging. Many worry that they don’t have enough information as they prepare to enter Medicare and feel tense about this process. For some people, enrolling for Medicare is automatic, while for others, it depends on certain factors, and we are here to help. The steps you take before enrolling in Medicare will depend on whether you are still getting your retirement benefits when you start the Initial Enrollment Period.
Anyone that is receiving SSRB or RRB can automatically enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B, but for the people that are not receiving these benefits, they’ll need to actively enroll in Medicare. If you are eligible for automatic Medicare enrollment, you will get a parcel in the mail three months before your health coverage starts with your new Medicare card.
Moreover, you’ll get a letter that explains how Medicare works. You can automatically enroll in both Medicare Part A and B. As for the people that get Social Security Retirement benefits, their card and package will come from SSA. In contrast, those that get Railroad Retirement benefits will get their card and package from the Railroad Retirement Board.
You shouldn’t turn down Medicare Part B unless you or your partner still have job insurance that gives them coverage. If you turn down Medicare Part B without having insurance from your current employer, you may suffer a premium penalty if you want to enroll in a Medicare plan in the future.
Moreover, if you become eligible for Medicare while still receiving coverage from your job-based insurance, you can enroll in Medicare to pay less for your care and have primary coverage. If you are 65-years-old and not receiving Railroad Retirement benefits or Social Security benefits, you’ll need to actively enroll in a Medicare plan.
Signing up for Medicare
If you need to enroll in Medicare, the steps below can be your guide. If you are considering Medicare enrollment during your IEP, you can sign up for Medicare Part A or B as follows:
- Go to your local Social Security office
- Mail a dated and signed letter to Social Security that includes your name, SSN, and the date you want to enroll in Medicare, or you can apply online.
- If you are eligible for RRB, enroll in Medicare by contacting your local Railroad Retirement Board or calling RRB.
- To protect yourself from incurring a Medicare Part B premium penalty in case your application is lost, ensure to keep proof when you tried enrolling in Medicare.
- Ensure to take note of the Medicare agents you talk to, along with the date and time of the discussion.