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How to enroll in Medicare if you are turning 65

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When a person turns 65, they often become eligible for Medicare. Whether you are collecting retirement benefits when you start your Initial Enrollment Period will affect how you enroll in Medicare (IEP).

  • You should be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically if you receive Railroad Retirement payments or Social Security retirement benefits.
  • You must actively enroll in Medicare if you are not receiving Railroad Retirement payments or Social Security retirement benefits.

You shouldn’t need to get in touch with anyone if you qualify for automatic enrollment. Three months before the commencement of your coverage, you should get a package in the mail that includes your new Medicare card. There will also be a letter describing how Medicare functions and informing you that you were enrolled in both Parts A and B by default. Your package and card will be sent to you by the Social Security Administration if you receive Social Security retirement benefits (SSA). Your package and card will be sent to you by the Railroad Retirement Board if you receive Railroad Retirement benefits.

 

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Generally speaking, unless you have insurance based on your current employment—or that of your spouse—you shouldn’t decline Part B. (job-based insurance). If you decline Part B because you don’t have employer-based insurance and later need to enroll in Medicare, you can be charged a premium penalty. Additionally, if your employer-based insurance would only cover a portion of your costs until you are eligible for Medicare, you should think about signing up for Medicare so you may have primary coverage and pay less for your care.

You must actively enroll in Medicare if you are 65 years old and not currently receiving Railroad Retirement or Social Security retirement benefits.

Signing up for Medicare

If you need to actively enroll in Medicare, adhere to the guidelines below.

If you choose to join up for Parts A and/or B of Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can do so by:

  • Going to your neighborhood Social Security office
  • Dialing 800-772-1213 to reach Social Security
  • Mailing Social Security a letter with your name, Social Security number, and the date you want to be enrolled in Medicare, signed and dated
  • Or submit an online application at www.ssa.gov

Call the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) or get in touch with your neighborhood RRB field office to sign up for Medicare if you are qualified for Railroad Retirement benefits.

 

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Keep a record of your attempts to enroll in Medicare so you can avoid paying a Part B premium penalty if your application is unsuccessful.

  • Any representatives you communicate with should have their names, the time and date of the conversation, and their positions noted.
  • If you choose to enroll by mail, send it certified and ask for a return receipt.
  • Ask for a documented receipt when enrolling at the Social Security office in your area.
  • Print down and save your confirmation page if you are applying online.

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