As more individuals push off retirement and getting Social Security, many are in danger of missing the enrollment period for Medicare Part B.
In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Also, you may have to wait until the General Enrollment Period (from January 1 to March 31) to enroll in Part B, and coverage will start July 1 of that year
So it’s critical that you get signed up timely during your enrollment window.
Medicare enrollment takes place in the 7 month window of your 65th birthday. This window is the 3 months prior, the month of your birthday, and the 3 months after your 65th birthday.
If you are already getting benefits from Social Security before you reach 65, you will be enrolled automatically in Medicare Part A & Part B.
If you have coverage through a current or former employer, it’s important to understand how your current coverage works with Medicare before making any decisions regarding enrolling or not enrolling.
When can I sign up for Part A & Part B?
How can I sign up for Part A & Part B?
- Apply online at Social Security.
- Visit your local Social Security office.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772.
- Complete an Application for Enrollment in Part B (CMS-40B). Remember, you must already have Part A to apply for Part B.
You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.
Don’t miss your Medicare enrollment date and pay more!
By Melinda Nelson, CPA