How to Sign Up for Medicare
Signing up for Medicare is not the same process for everyone and acting at the right time for your situation could save you thousands of dollars over time in retirement. When the time comes, it is as simple as signing up for your benefits online or in person with your local Social Security office.
It is not uncommon for the application process to take less than 10 minutes when you have your personal online Social Security account. This login information is the same that you use when reviewing your monthly cash retirement benefit amount. And just because the login information is the same for Medicare and your retirement benefits, you do not need to sign up for them at the same time.
Working Past the Age of 65
We are only as old as we feel, and retirement is different for everyone. Whether you plan on working past the age of 65 or have coverage from your spouse’s employer, it is good to review your options as you are approaching the age of 65. Medicare is not automatic for everyone and signing up at the right time will help you be most efficient with your costs in healthcare. When comparing your options, it’s important to know if your coverage meets Medicare standards. This information is shared (by federal law) in a letter that is mailed from your insurance coverage each fall. (A quick call to your H.R. department will also help in confirming this information.) If your coverage meets Medicare standards, you have the best of both worlds. You can decide to stay with your current coverage or shop around and see how Medicare coverage options are different. High Deductible Health Plans are popular with employers, but they may no longer fit your needs. You could also be surprised by the lower out-of-pocket cost that Medicare and a private insurance plan can provide you.
Retired Before 65 or Currently Purchasing Your Insurance Through the Open Marketplace
If you are currently purchasing your health insurance through MNsure or directly with the insurance carrier, you must sign up for Medicare at the right time to ensure you are avoiding extra costs in penalties. Typically, it is best to start this process three months before your 65th birthday. By doing so, your Medicare coverage will start the first day of your birth month and you can be rest assured there are no gaps in your coverage. If you are already collecting Social Security, your enrollment into Original Medicare is automatic and will have your premiums deducted from your retirement benefit check. If you are waiting to collect Social Security after the age of 65, you will need to enroll in Medicare and pay your premiums via mail or direct payment from your banking account.