How to Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B
If you are already receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits or railroad retirement checks, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B about 3 month before your 65th birthday.
If you are still working and enrolled in an employer group health plan you can and should opt out of Medicare Part B. You will receive information in the mail approximately 3 months before your 65 birth month.
Employers with 20 or more employees are required by law to offer workers and their spouses who are age 65 (or older) the same health benefits that are provided to younger workers. If this is the case you should postpone or opt out of Medicare Part B (and save the premium) and then enroll approximately 60 days prior to your final date of employment, or the date you will be leaving the group health plan, whichever comes sooner.
Note: Residents of Puerto Rico or foreign countries will not receive Part B automatically. They must elect this benefit.
If you are NOT getting Social Security retirement or disability benefits, you should contact Medicare about three months before your 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare.
There are four enrollment periods that apply to Part B:
The initial enrollment period (IEP)
The general enrollment period (GEP)
The special enrollment period (SEP) for the working aged 65 and older and the working disabled,
The special enrollment period for international volunteers.
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
For most individuals, the initial enrollment period IEP begins with the first day of the third month before the month in which a person attains age 65 and ends the third month after the month the individual attains age 65.
Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP)
The General Enrollment Period – (GEP) takes place from January 1 through March 31 of each year. Part B however will not become effective until July 1st of that same year. This period generally applies to those who are considered late enrollees – Those who were eligible to enroll previously but did not.
Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for the Working Aged 65 or older and Working Disabled.
Individuals who do not enroll in Part B when first eligible because they were covered under a group health plan based on their own or a spouse’s current employment (or the current employment of a family member, if disabled) are eligible for the SEP.
An individual can enroll at any time while covered under the group health plan based on current employment, or during the 8-month period that begins the month the employment ends or the group health plan coverage ends, whichever comes first. Individuals with ESRD are not eligible to enroll during this.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for International Volunteers
Individuals who do not enroll in Part B when first eligible because they were performing volunteer service outside of the United States for at least 12 months on behalf of a tax-exempt organization and had health insurance that provided coverage for the duration of the volunteer service may enroll during the SEP.
Medicare Termination of Enrollment
Once an individual is enrolled in Part B coverage continues until it is terminated: (1) by the individual’s voluntary request; (2) because of failure to pay premiums; (3) for individuals under age 65 (disabled and ESRD), because their Part A entitlement ended (Part B terminates at the same time as Part A; or (4) the death of the beneficiary.
Upon enrollment in Medicare Part B you will need to enroll in a Medicare Supplemental insurance plan to cover the deductibles and additional 20% not covered by Medicare and a Part D plan for prescription drugs. Or you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan also called part C. For assistance choosing these Medicare Insurance plans please complete the Request assistance for Here or call our office at 610-399-8700.