4 EASY Steps!
If you are NEW to Medicare because you are turning 65, and need to Enroll in Medicare A and B, these instructions are for you! This also applies to people over over 65 who are retiring or have been downsized, are losing Employer group coverage, and need to enroll in Medicare A and B for the first time or have A but need to enroll in Medicare B...
Medicare may seem confusing and hard to understand– Don’t Panic! We have made it easy and broken down the process into 4 simple steps:
1) Learn about your options by Watching several short Medicare videos. We created this You Tube channel to help you understand all this Medicare stuff. These videos are short (5-10 min) and easy to understand on topics like “The A, B, C’s and D’s of Medicare”, “Medicare Supplements Explained!” and “What is a Medicare Advantage plan?” , "When is the BEST time to enroll?" and "What is the INITIAL Enrollment period?" List of all videos provided here: https://www.youtube.com/@cbhealthinsurance3621/videos
2) Enroll in Medicare A and B only (or get forms to enroll in Medicare B):
Click here to start watching: How To Enroll in Medicare
For further assistance in Enrolling in Medicare, you can call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213
3) Complete Medicare Contact Form and Medicare Questionnaire
4) Schedule a ZOOM call with our office to review all options, answer questions, decide on plans and enroll!
Here is some additional information on Medicare:
PREMIUMS: Feel free to download this document: 2023 Medicare B and D premiums.
Depending on your income at the time you enroll in Medicare, you can either pay the STANDARD premium or a higher amount, referred to as IRMA - Income Related Monthly Adjustments. SEE Chart in "2023 Medicare B and D premiums" document for income levels. The standard Part B premium for 2023 is $164.90, down $5.20 from the 2022 Part B premium of $170.10. The ‘look back’ is 2 years prior to when you enroll in Medicare. So for 2023 enrollment, the government will look at your 2021 income to calculate your Medicare premiums. (NOTE: You could pay more for Part D as well if you your income exceeds certain limits.)
If you have a low income or qualify for Medicaid, you should call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask about EXTRA HELP. You may qualify for help in paying your Medicare premiums.
Your Initial Enrollment is a 7-month window that begins 3 months prior to your birthday month, includes your birthday month and 3 months after your birthday month. You are eligible for Medicare first of the month in which you turn 65. If your birthday is July 7th for example, you are eligible for Medicare July 1st and your initial enrollment is from April 1st – Oct 31st. For someone OVER age 65 who has had Employer Group coverage as their primary, they are allowed to enroll in Medicare part B at any time and can also do so online or at the local SS office.
NOTE: If your birthday is on the 1st of the month, you are eligible the prior month for Medicare.
Options to Enroll in Medicare keep changing: During COVID, people were not allowed to go tot he SS office; instead an individual would call the toll free # to schedule a future phone appointment to enroll or be directed to enroll via online application on the SS website. Since the re-opening of SS offices, the gov't has yet again changed their protocol. It is not recommended to go to the local SS office without an appt. Calling the toll free number will only get you an appointment to enroll (and could be in person) at a future date. Online is still the best option!
#2 above was not an option during the Covid-19 shut down. You can instead download and mail applications to the local SS office or fax the completed application to the local office for quicker enrollment. For instructions, watch this video:
Since enrollment into Medicare can take a few weeks, and can be delayed further if there are questions about enrollment or your application, we recommend doing this at the beginning of your initial enrollment period; if you sign up online, you will probably get your Medicare card mailed to you in a couple of weeks. If you enroll in Medicare the three months prior to turning 65 or during your birthday month, the effective date of Medicare will be the first of the month in which you turn 65. If you enroll in the last 3 months of your initial enrollment, the SS office will enroll you in a future effective date, which can be 5 months in the future if you wait until the last month to enroll.
Most people agree, Medicare alone is not enough.
You really have one of two options to supplement AND cover Prescription Drugs:
(In both cases, you need to be enrolled in Original Medicare part A and B to get a supplement or Medicare Advantage plan.)
Our job at CB Health Insurance is to help you pick a plan that will suit your needs and budget! You can buy a drug card for as low as $8/month and as high as $110/month, depending on your medication list; a Medicare supplement premium is based on the plan you purchase but also your age, zip code, male/female, smoker/nonsmoker, and household discounts that may apply. Our office provides quotes with the top 5 A-rated companies with the Lowest Rates. An MAPD plan can run from $0 up to $170/month, but most plans are well under $100, many from $0-40/month and include a drug card. This is a great option for people on a budget or trying to keep their medical premiums low. You will want to be sure to check the network of providers for these plans. Again,our office and staff can help you will all of this.
To learn more information about your options including the difference between Med Supp plans and how a Medicare Advantage plans work, check out my YouTube Channel:
CB Health Insurance YouTube