When and how to Apply for Medicare 

Medicare is health insurance for people aged 65 or older. You are eligible to apply for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday. If you have a disability, you can apply for Medicare before 65. A Medicare plan enables you to visit any hospital or doctor anywhere in the United States so long as they take Medicare.

With Medicare, you can also apply for a Medigap policy which is open for enrollment for six months after the commencement of your Part B coverage.

Your policy will be effective depending on when you applied for Medicare. If you sign up before the month you turn 65, your policy will be effective the month you turn 65, while a sign up on your birthday month your cover will start the following month. If you apply one month after turning 65, the effective date will be two months after, and finally, 2 or 3 months late sign up will lead to policy effectiveness three months later.

To apply for Medicare, you will need to provide documents that verify your age, military service, citizenship, and work history. Do not worry if you don’t have the original papers because you can always get them with the help of social security.

Medicare parts

Medicare is divided into four parts. Part A covers hospital stays and care, while Part B covers medical and other costs related to diagnosing and treating medical conditions. Medicare Advantage is Part C offering additional coverage options, including dental, visual, and wellness care. Most Medicare Advantage programs provide prescription drugs coverage. To be eligible for Medicare Advantage, you must also be enrolled in parts A and B. Finally, Medicare Part D includes prescription drugs.

Within the Medicare Advantage plan, there are several plans to choose from, which include private fee-for-service (PFFS), medical savings account (MSA), health maintenance organization (HMO), special needs plans (SNPs), and preferred provider organization (PPO)

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When Should You Apply for Medicare?

It would be best to plan to apply for one as soon you qualify for Medicare. You are eligible for a Medicare plan when you reach the age of 65; however, the registration period is usually three months before or after turning 65 years of age. Early registration is encouraged because late registration after your birthday may cause delays in your Part B coverage.

After the initial enrollment period is the special enrollment period, and not all people will qualify for the latter. The special enrollment period includes those with creditable coverage. You may pay the penalty if you miss enrolling during the initial enrollment period when applying for Medicare parts B and D only.

Here are the different times to apply depending on whether you have a social security number;

1. If you already have a social security number:

You will be automatically enrolled in Medicare part A if the Railroad Retirement system already gives you social security benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday. In addition to that, you will also not need to enroll for Medicare part B if you already have a cover from non-Medicare insurance paid by your union or employer. If you do not have the extra coverage, you need to sign up for part B. failure to do this will result in a penalty of an additional 10% premium for every 12 months you have missed out on part B.

2. If you do not have a social security number:

If you do not receive benefits from the Railroad Retirement system, you should call or apply for Medicare 3 months before your 65th birthday.

Medicare part A is free, while part B demands you to pay monthly premiums. Analyze critically as early as possible to determine if you need part B Medicare coverage. This will help you avoid extra costs charged for late registration after the initial enrollment period.

When to apply for Medicare part D

Part D is optional; however, you should apply during the initial enrollment period if you need it. Failure to do this you will be subjected to a penalty that will permanently increase your part D premium. However, you may be exempted from the punishment if you have an existing creditable drug coverage for 63 days or more.

To avoid penalties, you need to evaluate your decisions early and make sure you apply for part D during the initial registration. Another option is to register for a Medicare Advantage with prescription medications.

It would help if you kept in mind that you have to be registered in both part A and B to register for part C, while to register for part D, you need to be enrolled in either part A or B.

Does Medicare Cover Dental Implants 

Most Medicare Advantage plans offer some dental coverage for many dental needs, but not all plans help pay for dental implants. 

How to apply for Medicare

For most people, you can either register by a call to Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or apply online or call Medicare at 800-772-1213, open from Monday to Friday between 7 am and 7 pm.

However, some exceptional cases include when you are still at work at the age of 65 and already have coverage by a group health insurance. In such a case, you still need to enroll for Medicare part A but not necessarily for part B. Medicare becomes the first to pay while the group health insurance becomes the secondary payer.

If you lose your group health insurance, you qualify for the special enrollment period, meaning no penalties will be attracted for late registration. Losing your group health coverage may occur as a result of employment termination.

To be considered exceptional, you also need to apply for part B within eight months, which comes earlier between your employment termination and group health coverage termination.

If you fail to apply at 65 and do not qualify for a special enrollment period, you can apply from January 1 to March 31. This time is called the general enrollment, which is open annually; however, you will start receiving benefits from July 1.

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