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Enrolling In Medicare Programs
Medicare Part A Enrollment
At 65 years of age you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A if you have elected to receive Railroad Retirement Disability benefits or Social Security.
To enroll in Medicare Part A if you have not elected to receive Social Security benefits in order to enroll you will need to file an application. If you are interested in speaking with an advisor about enrolling in Medicare Part A call toll free 1-888-452-7949 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Medicare Part B Enrollment
Once you become eligible to receive benefits through the Medicare program you should automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B. This coverage can be declined as Medicare Part B is an optional plan. A premium for Medicare Part B is paid on a monthly basis if you choose to participate in coverage.
You may apply for Medicare Part B if:
You have not applied for Railroad Retirement benefits or Social Security
You were employed by the federal government
You have kidney disease
Open enrollment for Medicare Part B begins 3 months before the month that you will turn 65 and continues for 3 months after. After this period of time passes you will be required to pay late enrollment penalties.
In certain cases Medicare Part B coverage can be declined within your allotted enrollment period however you will be required to pay a 10% penalty per 12 month period that you were allowed to enroll but chose not to.
This penalty is enforced as long as you continue to be enrolled in Medicare Part B coverage. However if you were enrolled in a group health plan you can enroll in Medicare Part B for up to 8 months after that coverage ends.
If you are interested in speaking with an advisor about enrolling in Medicare Part B call toll free 1-888-452-7949 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Medicare Advantage Enrollment
Medicare recipients, as a general rule, can enroll or un-enroll in the Medicare Advantage Program once a year during the Medicare coordinated enrollment period which is November 15th through December 31st.
Participants enroll in the Medicare Advantage Plan through private insurance companies unlike Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B participants who enroll directly with Medicare. When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan there are a number of things to take into consideration including:
You can enroll in only one Medicare Advantage Plan at a time
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage is for the entire year
Medicare Advantage participants may not be denied coverage due to age or health (unless the individual has end-stage renal disease)
Premiums cannot vary because of age or health
If you have both Medicare and full Medicaid benefits, you may switch plans at any time
If you are interested in speaking with an advisor about enrolling in Medicare Advantage call toll free 1-888-452-7949 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Enrollment in Medigap Insurance Plans A through Plan L
Enrollment in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B is mandatory for participants to be eligible to enroll in Medigap (Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans).
The best time to enroll in Medigap is during the 6 month enrollment period that begins on the first day of the first month that you have:
Reached age 65
Enrolled in Medicare Part B
Private insurance companies must waive all exclusions for pre-existing conditions during this enrollment period. Insurers must accept all Medicare participants without a waiting period. When your enrollment period has expired private insurance companies can:
Deny participation in certain Medigap Plans
Decline Medigap Plan coverage because of your age or health status
Include exclusions to Medigap Plans for pre-existing conditions
It is beneficial for all Medigap enrollees to enroll in a plan that not only meets their health care need but also takes into consideration their budget. Participants must make an informed decision when choosing a Medigap Plan. It is also crucial to avoid paying additional fees that are not necessary by enrolling during their initial enrollment period.
If you are interested in speaking with an advisor about enrolling in Medigap call toll free 1-888-452-7949 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Enrollment in Prescription Drug Coverage
Participation in Medigap prescription drug coverage is voluntary. Enrollment in Medicare Part D (Medigap Plan D) requires enrollees to enroll in additional coverage through a private insurer and not directly through the federal government as is with Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Like all Medigap insurance plans, you must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to enroll in prescription drug coverage through Medigap.
The open enrollment period for all Medigap Plans, including Medigap Plan D prescription drug coverage, occurs November 15th through December 31st. If a participant is leaving another creditable drug plan they too can enroll in Medigap Plan D, without a penalty, within 63 days from the date that they left the old plan.
Medigap Plans, including prescription drug coverage, is for an entire calendar year. There are certain times when it is possible for a participant to switch plans during this time, such as entering a nursing home, outside of this period of time.
If you are interested in speaking with an advisor about enrolling in Medigap Part D call toll free 1-888-452-7949 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Participants in Medicare that choose not to enroll in Medigap Plan D when first eligible will be required to pay a penalty that is assessed based on the number of years they have not participated. This is equivalent to 1% of the national average Medigap Plan D premium times the number of month’s that enrollment had been delayed. This penalty is also assessed to participants that do not choose to maintain continuous coverage.
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