Broker Check

Signing up for Medicare: Your Options Explained

January 26, 2024

Reaching the age of 65 is a significant milestone, and it also marks the time when you become eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people over 65 and some younger people with disabilities. Signing up for Medicare can seem like a daunting task, but understanding your options can make the process much smoother.

Most people automatically enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) when they turn 65 if they already receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits. However, you'll need to sign up for Part B (medical insurance) during a specific seven-month window: three months before the month you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and the three months after the month you turn 65. Missing this window can result in penalties and higher premiums later.

There are several ways to enroll in Medicare:

Online: The Social Security Administration (SSA) website allows you to sign up for Medicare online. This is the fastest and easiest way to enroll.

By phone: You can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to enroll over the phone.

In person: You can visit your local Social Security office to enroll in person.

Through the Railroad Retirement Board: If you worked for a railroad, you can enroll in Medicare through the Railroad Retirement Board.

While Medicare Part A and Part B cover a significant portion of your healthcare costs, they don't cover everything. You may want to consider additional coverage options, such as:

    • Medicare Advantage Plans: These plans are offered by private insurance companies and provide an alternative to Original Medicare. They typically cover all of the same services as Original Medicare, plus additional benefits like dental, vision, and hearing coverage.
    • Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap): These plans help pay for some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.
    • Part D Prescription Drug Coverage: This plan covers the cost of prescription drugs.

Understanding your Medicare enrollment options and choosing the right coverage for your needs can help you get the most out of your healthcare benefits.  Call the Everest office closest to you to set up a no-obligation review of your Medicare claiming strategy.  

If you live in North or South Carolina, be sure to reach out to me @ 704.708.5001 or, to help you evaluate your Medicare Supplement options!