As we all know, Medicare is the new initiative launched the US government to provide health insurance to people aged 65 and above. A certain section of the population who are below 65 also can qualify, including those with disabilities such as permanent kidney failure or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It’s broadly divided into four parts. You could signup for one or several parts of Medicare. Medicare.gov provides information about, Medicare benefits, how to find Medicare plans and Apply Online for Medicare health insurance.
The enrollment procedure is different for each part.
- Part A- Hospital Insurance
- Part B- Medical Insurance
- Part C- Medical advantage managed care plans
- Part D- Prescription drug plans.
- For those who aren’t 65, but are receiving Railroad retirement or social security, you are automatically enrolled in both Part A and Part B. In the event of a disability you are automatically enrolled in both Part A and B, beginning from the 25th month of your disability.
- For those who do not receive security or railroad retirement benefits, you would need to apply for one three months prior to your 65th birthday or if you require regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. This enrollment spans for the next seven months. The earlier you start the faster would be the processing. For any help on this you can always contact the Social Security Administration Office, or if you or your spouse has worked for the rail road, the Railroad Retirement Board.
- For those who have failed to enroll during the seven month period you would have to wait until the general enrollment period that would be held from January 1 to March 31st of each year, followed by Part B enrollment in July.
- For those who haven’t enrolled in the first 12 months or more, Part B premiums go up by 10 % for every 12 months that you could have enrolled but you did not.
- For those who choose to work after 65, it is still advised to sign up for part A of Medicare as this may help to pay for a few costs that are not usually covered by the employer plan, but not for Part B as these would be of limited benefits for you if the employer is the main payer of your medical bills.
However, there are a few exceptions to this. You do not have to end up paying huge premiums for the delay, if you are disabled and have group health insurance, based on you or your spouse’s current employment or if you are disabled and have group health insurance based on your current employment or the current employment of any of your family members.
The eligibility and enrollment procedures can get complicated; however there are a number of intermediaries like the American Association of Retired Person Medicare site, or the official US site for those receiving Medicare.