How to Sign Up for a Medicare Plan
Preparing to sign up for a Medicare Insurance plan can feel overwhelming. Do you need Medicare Insurance on top of Original Medicare? And how do you even sign up for Original Medicare?
Before you’re ready to enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan, keep the following in the mind:
Are you eligible for Original Medicare?
Most seniors are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. Those under 65 are only eligible for Medicare if they are on disability for 24 months. Original Medicare includes your Parts A & B. Together, these cover roughly 80% of your medical costs.
Before enrolling in a Medicare Insurance plan, you’ll need to have taken out Medicare Parts A & B.
An insurance agent cannot take out your Parts A & B for you, but they can walk you through the process. You can also contact Medicare online (medicare.gov), by phone, or in-person at your local office to apply for Medicare.
Be aware of your available enrollment periods.
Medicare beneficiaries receive a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which includes the three months before their 65th birthday, the month of their birthday, and the three months after their 65th birthday. After your IEP, there are Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) that may apply, and every year there is Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) from October 15 to December 7.
Don’t forget: If you delay your Part B, you will have a different IEP than someone who is taking out their Part B when they turn 65.
Do you have your Medicare Parts A & B and are ready to enroll in a Medicare Insurance plan? Here are three ways you can enroll:
1. Enroll with an agent in person. Medicare Insurance agents are licensed to help members sign up for Medicare plans. These agents can tell you what plans are available in your area, give you details about your Medicare options, and give you a paper or electronic application to fill out that they then submit for you to the insurance company on your behalf.
2. Enroll online. You can find a plan using our online tool that allows you to compare plan prices, prescription drug coverage, and connect with a local agent. Medicare beneficiaries have the ability to enroll themselves online without the help of an agent or you can enroll with an agent online.
3. Enroll by phone. You can call an insurance company directly and enroll in a plan over the phone. You can also call the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) directly and enroll in a plan over the phone with them. There are also agents who can enroll you with a plan over the phone.
Why do we suggest using a Medicare Insurance agent to help you enroll?
First of all, it’s free! It doesn’t cost you anything to talk with an agent and look at your plan options or to have an agent file an application on your behalf.
Second, having a go-to insurance agent means you always have someone in your corner to back you up. Didn’t get your Medicare Insurance card in the mail? Call your agent. Did your doctor just prescribe you an expensive medication and you’re not sure if it’s covered? Call your agent. Confused about a bill you got in the mail from your doctor? Call your agent.
Ready to sign up for an insurance plan?
Caress Insurance Agency, Inc has local agents who are ready to help you find a plan that best fits your needs and budget. We work with Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups to help answer your Medicare questions. We’ve created an online tool to easily compare plans and get a custom quote tailored to your unique needs: click here to get a quote in just minutes!