Understanding how to register for Medicare is essential as it is to register as soon as you know you are eligible.
This will ensure that the application will process quickly and if there are any complications, then you can give the documents necessary sooner.
If you have become eligible through Medicare based off your retirement age, then enrolling during the initial enrollment period is important in order to avoid paying higher premiums for Medicare coverage.
You do not have to apply for the initial enrollment period if you qualify for the special enrollment period.
There are several ways to complete a Medicare application such as on the internet, on the phone or in person.
Whichever way you decide to submit your Medicare application, it is possible that you will be asked to give specific documents like a copy of your tax return from the year prior or acceptable proof of your citizenship status.
Find out more about how to complete a Medicare application and the steps to the application process by reading the following sections.
The Right Time to Apply for Medicare
How you qualify for Medicare will change the time period in which you can apply for this government program.
You may follow the specific enrollment periods of Medicare if you are eligible for it based on age.
The initial enrollment period is when Medicare enrollment becomes available three months prior to turning 65 years of age.
This enrollment period lasts seven months and this includes the three months prior to your birthday, the month of your birthday and the three months after your birthday month.
It is highly encouraged to apply for Medicare during the initial enrollment period, even if you do not want to begin receiving retirement benefits early.
If you decide to register late then you will end up paying increased premiums for specific parts of the Medicare coverage.
Medicare Part B and D have premiums, and with each year that you do not apply to these two parts while being eligible for them.
However, if you qualify for the special enrollment period then you do not have to pay for an increased premium.
In order to meet the qualifications for the special enrollment period, you must have health care insurance provided to you by a group health plan that comes from the current employer of your spouse or your employer.
The time period for the special enrollment period is:
- Any month you are covered by the group health plan that your employer provides continues.
- When the beginning of the eight-month period after your employment or group health plan finishes.
If you were not able to enroll into the initial enrollment period and the special enrollment period or you simply do not qualify for the special enrollment period, you can still apply for Medicare while the annual enrollment period is open.
Moreover, it is possible to qualify for Medicare in other ways besides age. You may qualify for Medicare if you take disability benefits.
You may enroll for Medicare at the same time periods stated above.
Learn About the Medicare Application Process
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will require applicants to provide them with several different types of information and documentation.
The information is typically related to personal life and employment history.
What you will need to provide to the SSA to complete your application is:
- Your citizenship status
- Personal information like Social Security Number, full legal name and date of birth and place of birth
- If you would like to apply for retirement benefits
- Information on the current spouse and former spouse and dates and places of marriage, divorces or death
- Information of unmarried children
- Your contact information
Employer information, both current and previous, must also be provided to the SSA:
- Contact information of employers from the current and previous year
- Money earned from these employers
- The dates for U.S. military service prior to 1968
- If you are unable to work in the past 14 months
- If you or your spouse have worked the railroad industry
- If you earned Social Security credits while in another country
You’re the routing transit number and account number will be required of you if you would like to receive both Social Security benefits and Medicare.
Learn About the Documents Necessary for the Medicare Application
When you reach the end of the Medicare application, you will be prompted to provide documents to support the information you have stated.
You will be asked to provide specific documentation like:
- Acceptable proof of birth
- Acceptable proof of your United States citizenship or alien status
- A copy of W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for last year
The SSA can help you acquire a copy of the documents if you notify them of your inability you acquire them.
If you would like to mail your documents, remember to include your Social Security number on a fresh sheet of paper so the information on the document will match the application.
It is important to give the Social Security Administration the original documents and that they have not been tampered with.
Understanding Online Registration for Medicare
The most convenient way to submit a Medicare application is via the internet.
Because of this convenience, there are many benefits that are associated with online applications.
Some of the benefits included not having to take a trip to the local Social Security Office, being able to check the status of your application online and the capacity to finish the application on your own time.
How to Complete Your Application by Phone
The SSA can help complete your application via phone if you call during normal business hours.
If you decide to apply by phone, remember that it may take longer to complete it than other methods.
However, you will be able to speak to a representative directly if you happen to have questions that need to be answered.
How to Apply for Medicare In-Person
You can also visit your local Social Security Office to complete it.
Call the office and schedule an appointment with them and show up to the appointment prepared.
Remember to bring all the necessary documents with you on the day of your appointment.