- You can qualify for Medicare based on age or due to long-term disability. The age to qualify for Medicare is 65. People who receive Social Security disability benefits or certain disability benefits from RRB for 24 months will automatically get Part A and Part B.
- If you’re already receiving Social Security or RRB benefits, you’ll automatically receive Medicare Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. A Medicare card will be mailed to you three months before your 65th birthday.
If you don’t fall into either of the above categories, you’ll need to sign up.
If I’m not automatically enrolled, how can I sign up
People who need to sign up for Medicare can choose from several methods:
- Apply online at the Social Security website
- Visit your closest Social Security office
- Apply by phone at 1-800-772-1213
What if I don’t want Part B
If you were automatically enrolled, the Medicare card you were sent will come with instructions for declining part B. If you signed up through Social Security, then you’ll need to contact Social Security to remove Part B.
What does Medicare Part A benefits cover
Part A is the hospital insurance portion of Medicare. It primarily covers care received as an inpatient in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. It also can be used for hospice, and in some cases, home health services.
What does Medicare Part B benefits cover
Part B covers services and supplies used to diagnose or treat your medical condition. That includes things like outpatient doctor visits, ambulance services, and durable medical equipment such as blood sugar monitors, crutches, and hospital beds. It also covers preventive services such as flu shots and bone density screening.
Do I have to get both Part A and Part B
No, you can opt for Part A only. If you’re eligible for free Part A, you must have it in order to get Part B. People who aren’t eligible for free Part A can buy just Part B.
Do I need both Part A and Part B
It depends on whether Medicare will be your primary insurance or a secondary insurance. Most people choose to take Part A in any case, because it is free. If you have other coverage that is primary, for example through an employer, you don’t need Part B.
What is a Part B Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
Special enrollment periods are times outside of the standard enrollment period when you can start or change your Medicare Part B coverage without penalty. Examples include:
- leaving or gaining employer-based coverage
- losing Medicaid eligibility
- moving into or out of a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital
Most people qualify to receive Part A for free. To qualify, you must have worked enough to earn 40 quarters of work credits. You can earn up to 4 quarters of credit per year, so if you or your spouse worked at least 10 years and paid Medicare taxes you meet the requirement and have no premium for part A. If you haven’t worked enough to have 40 quarters of work credit, you will have to pay a monthly premium.
How much does Medicare Part B cost
The cost of Medicare Part B has a monthly premium. The amount varies depending on your yearly income. People with higher incomes pay more.
How do I pay my Part B premium
If you receive Social Security benefits or RRB benefits, your Part B premium will be automatically deducted from your benefit payment. If you don’t receive these benefits, you’ll get a bill in the mail. You can pay it with a check or credit card. You also have the option of signing up for Medicare Easy Pay, which will deduct the premium from your checking or savings account each month.
Can I add Part B later
You can, but if you delay enrolling in Part B but decide you want it later, you’ll most likely have to pay an enrollment penalty. You’ll have to pay the penalty for as long as you have Part B.
Can I drop Part B if I don’t want it anymore
Yes. To cancel Part B you must complete a form (CMS-1763). You can do this over the phone by calling the Social Security Administration or during a personal interview at your closest Social Security office.
Does having only Medicare Part A benefits meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for minimum coverage
If you have Medicare Part A only or Medicare Part A and B you meet the Affordable Care Act requirement to have health insurance.
Will Medicare Part B cover diabetes supplies
Part B includes coverage for durable medical equipment (DME). Glucose monitors and test strips are considered DME.
How do I know whether I have Part A or Part B
Look in the lower left corner of the Medicare card you received in the mail. If you have Part A, Hospital (Part A) will be printed there. If you have Part B, it will say Medical (Part B).
Is there Optional Supplement Insurance to Compliment my Medicare
Yes, there is Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap. There are 10 plan options available to you and they're all standardized. This means that regardless of what carrier you go with, the benefits will be the same per plan.