Medicare Insurance Agent
Long Beach California

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How do I Start my Medicare benefits

Depending on your individual situation the answer to this question is not always the same.  In fact there are multiple answers to this very question which can make joining Medicare a bit complicated or easy depending on your individual situation. 

The more you plan ahead the better off you will be in the end.  Most of our clients fall into the planner category and have either reached out to us months before they turn 65 and have done a lot of research on the front end which helps them in the end not to have any issues.  We are here to help you every step of the way. 

Below you will notice we have broken down this question into 3 different categories of individual situations / answers.  

You are Turning 65 Years Old

Turning 65?
This is the easy part!

If you are already drawing Social Security Income, Part A and Part B will start automatically for you.

You can verify this by calling Social Security or logging into your Social Security account online with this link to verify benefits.

Not drawing Social Security right now?
You can sign up for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday.

It is important to know that if you wait beyond this point, you will have to wait for coverage to begin and, after 3 months (if no other qualifying coverage) there could be life-long penalties.

Then you have 3 options:

1)  You can easily apply online for Medicare to start, using this link: 
https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/

2) You can call to Apply:
1-800-772-1213  or;

3) You can Apply in Person
(if your Social Security office is open.) Here is a directory of the Social Security offices:
https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

All done? Now see below!

You are Leaving Employer or Group Plan

If you are older than 65 and are leaving, or recently left your employer plan, you will need to show Medicare that you had prior, qualifying coverage.

This is so that Medicare does not charge you a penalty for not having signed up with Medicare when you were first eligible, turning 65 years of age.

If you opted for COBRA (continuation of employer insurance), you MUST still apply for Medicare no later than the 8th month on COBRA, even if you are planning to continue on COBRA beyond the 9th month. This is to avoid the Medicare penalty and having lost this enrollment window.

Now, here’s how to get started when coming from an Employer/Group plan:

IF YOU CAN TAKE A DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPH WITH YOUR SMART PHONE OR SCAN IN YOUR VERIFICATION OF GROUP HEALTH PLAN COVERAGE (THAT YOU HAVE HAD WITHIN THE LAST 8 MONTHS), YOU CAN NOW USE THIS ELECTRONIC FORM AND SKIP THE PAPERWORK OPTION BELOW. 

HERE IS THE ELECTRONIC WAY TO APPLY NOW, IF YOU CAN SCAN OR PHOTOGRAPH THE PROOF OF PRIOR COVERAGE – CLICK HERE.

If you do NOT have the ability to photograph or scan documents and use the electronic version, here is your path:

  1. Download both forms below
     (“Part B Enrollment” and “Part B Employer Verification of Benefits Form”).
  2. Fill out “Part B Enrollment” and be sure to legibly write the date you’d like Part B to begin on the form
  3. Have HR (Former employer) fill out “Part B Employer Verification of Benefits Form”.
  4. Overnight these two forms to your local SSA office or send via certified mail with “URGENT” written on the envelope.
    Here is a directory of the Social Security offices:
    https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp

    Need help?
    Contact us below!

You are Not Turning 65 Not Leaving Group

Last Option:
If you are not turning 65, not leaving an employer or group plan, and are just realizing that you want to start Medicare, this could be a problem.

If you are beyond the 3 months from your birthday, you will possibly have to wait for the General Enrollment Period for Part B, which happens only once per year.

The folks at Social Security can determine if this is the case for you. You can call them at 1-800-772-1213.

The General Enrollment Period is January 1 until March 31 year year. Your coverage would then start on July 1 and you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty. 

You can see the exceptions to this, and the process entirely here:
https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/how-do-i-get-parts-a-b/part-a-part-b-sign-up-periods

All done?  Now see below!

Once you have applied for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B and have received your Medicare card as shown to the right, please reach out to our team so that we can explore your Medicare insurance options to cover the parts of Medicare
not covered (like the unlimited 20% of Part B costs, deductibles, co-payments, etc.).

You can either call us at 562-735-3553 or complete the Compare Medicare Quotes form and we will reach out to you.

The contact form at the top right of your screen (Compare Medicare Quotes) is a secure, encrypted form. Your information is 100% secure and your information will NOT be given or sold to anyone.

We hope to hear from you very soon so we can help you through the process.  Please remember we do not charge for our services and are 100% free.

Medicare Supplement Plan F