Local Social Security Office

Enrolling for Medicare is simple. You can apply online, by phone or in person at the Social Security office.

Medicare enrollment is simpler than you might think. We help hundreds of people on how to sign up for Medicare every year.

The Social Security office handles Medicare applications for Parts A and B. They offer several easy options so you can choose how to apply for Medicare.

  • If you are aging into Medicare, you may apply as early as 3 months prior to the month of your 65th birthday.

This is called the Initial Enrollment Period also known as IEP. This is when you can enroll in Parts A and B. (It is also your enrollment period for Part D your Prescription Drug Plan, but you enroll in Part D separate through an insurance company. Part D is voluntary, therefore, you do not enroll in it through Social Security.)

The easiest way is to call us and let us help you apply for your Medicare. Remember, our services are always 100% free.

If you’re already getting Social Security benefits, or railroad retirement board checks, Social Security Administration will send you information a few months before you become eligible for Medicare. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can elect not to sign up.

Medicare is a different application than Social Security income benefits. People age into Medicare at age 65, regardless of whether they are taking retirement income benefits yet. If you are age 65 or older and need medical insurance, you are entitled to Medicare.

  • If you are already taking Social Security income benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65. Your card should arrive 1- 2 months before you turn 65.
  • If you are NOT yet taking Social Security income benefits, then you will need to apply for Medicare yourself. Medicare will NOT notify you of when to sign-up. The government expects for you to know when to enroll. Give us a call and we can help determine how and when you can enroll.

After you enroll into Medicare, you’ll receive a red, white, and blue Medicare Card showing whether you have Part A, Part B or both. Keep your card in a safe place so you’ll have it when you need it. If your card is lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement card online by setting up an account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount, or call Social Security’s toll-free number. Your card should arrive 30-60 days before you turn 65.

Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Medicare Parts A, B and D last 7 months. You should sign up for Medicare three months before reaching age 65, even if you are not ready to start receiving retirement benefits. You can also opt out of receiving cash retirement benefits now once you are in the online application. Then you can apply online for retirement benefits later.

Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins 3 months before your 65th birthday month and runs for 3 months after your birth month.

During the 7-month period:

  • 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • The month you turn 65
  • 3 months after the month you turn 65
If You Join Your Coverage Begins
During one of the 3 months before you turn 65 The first day of the month you turn 65
During the month you turn 65 The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan
During one of the 3 months after you turn 65 The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan

 

Enrolling in Medicare during your IEP means that you will have no late penalties. There are also no pre-existing condition waiting periods.

When to register for Medicare Parts A, B and D depends on whether Medicare will be your primary coverage, or whether you still have employer coverage.

With the online application at www.socailsecurity.gov/myaccount, you can sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.

CAUTION: If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B and then decide to do so later, your coverage may be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium will go up 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B, but didn’t sign up for it, unless you qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period.”

If you have Medicare and other health insurance or employer group coverage, each type of coverage is called a “payer”. When there’s more than one payer, “coordination of benefits” rules decide which one pays first. The “primary payer” pays what it owes on your bills first, and then sends the rest to the “secondary payer” to pay. In some cases, there may also be a third payer.

If Medicare will be your primary coverage, we highly advise you to enroll in Medicare in the 3 months before your birthday month. Your Medicare will start on the first of the month in which you turn 65. Enrolling before your birthday will guarantee that your benefits begin on the first of your birthday month.

If you register for Medicare in the 3 months after your 65th birthday, then your start date will be later. People who do not know of this could end up with a few months of no health coverage. It’s important to know that your application date affects your start date.

If you are leaving employer coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period, then your initial enrollment will be your election period. Many people have assumed that their Medicare coverage will start immediately after their group coverage ends. This simply is not the case. The easiest way to make sure you do not have a lapse is to call us and let us help you on your transition to Medicare.

However, if you are in your initial enrollment and your birth month has already passed, the chart below breaks down the timeline you must wait for your coverage to begin.

When you file for Medicare it can affect the effective date of your coverage so it’s important to know the deadlines ahead of time.

It is very clear why applying for Medicare prior to your 65th birthday month is in your best interest.

If you have no other coverage and you fail to enroll during your 7-month IEP, then you will be subject to a Part B late enrollment penalty of 10% per month for every full 12-month period that you were not enrolled.

If you have small employer coverage (less than 20 employees), you should always enroll in both Parts A and B during your IEP. Medicare will be primary if your employer has less than 20 employees. If you work for a small employer, filing for Medicare at age 65 is very important!

The easiest way to ensure that you are covered is to contact us. We can easily help you determine the right coverage. Remember, our services our always free to you!

Medicare works with your employer insurance even if you are still working. If you are still working for an employer with 20+ employees, Medicare will be secondary to your employer coverage.

You can select whether to enroll in Part B or delay your enrollment into Part B until later. Your employer insurance plan has outpatient benefits built in already. Delaying Part B enrollment can save you money until you retire from your job.

Applying for Medicare varies for each person so contact Nevada Medicare for help or any questions you may have. We’ve helped solve Medicare enrollment with similar issues for our clients.

Finally, if you are still working, we can evaluate your employer coverage cost compared to what Medicare would cost as your primary coverage. Sometimes, staying at your employer insurance makes more sense. Let us help you decide whether to enroll in Parts A or B or both.

The online application at the Social Security is very simple to fill out and can be completed in minutes. Please visit the Social Security website and follow the links about applying for Medicare.

To apply for Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare, visit this link: https://www.ssa.gov/retire

To apply for just Medicare, visit: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/justmedicare.html

What you can do in the meantime while you wait for your card to arrive, is contact us and our customer care team would be happy to help you learn your Medicare plan options. We can have you well informed and ready by the time you get your card.

Filing for Medicare by phone can take several weeks, so use the other enrollment methods if you are short on time.

Applying for Medicare by phone is simple. You may contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (for TTY users, it’s 1-800-325-0778) Monday thru Friday 7am – 7pm.

When you call you will be assigned to a Representative. Let them know that you are applying for Medicare. Sometimes the representative they may schedule a telephone appointment with you to take your application over the phone this is due to them receiving high volume of calls. If they do they will send you some forms to complete.

Filling out your application by phone can sometimes take weeks to process because the forms must be mailed to you. When you receive the forms you have to complete them and then mail it back. There’s a high probability that your application will have delays. Using the phone enrollment option is good only if you have time before your intended Medicare effective date. You will need about 1-2 months of time ahead before your medicare effective date.

For those who prefer to submit their Medicare application in person.

You can submit your application at your nearest Social Security office. This can be a convenient option if you are very close to turning 65 and need to get your application processed quickly.

Visit the social security website to search for the office nearest you. Once you have completed your application in person, you should receive a print out of your Enrollment in Medicare. If you do not get one make sure to ask for one. This transaction form wil have all the information you need in order to acquire either a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage and/or Prescription Drug Plan.

Common Questions About Applying for Medicare

Your open enrollment for Medicare is based on your birthday. It’s a 7 month window that begins 3 months before your 65th birthday month. Make sure you Register to avoid penalties. Additionally, be sure not to confuse this enrollment period with the Annual Election Period (AEP) in that runs from October 15 to December 7. The Annual Enrollment Period is different and it is only for changing your Medicare Advantage plan or your Prescription Drug Plan.

During the 7-month window:

  • Starts 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
If You Join Your Coverage Begins
During one of the 3 months before you turn 65 The first day of the month you turn 65
During the month you turn 65 The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan
During one of the 3 months after you turn 65 The first day of the month after you ask to join the plan

Normally you will receive your Medicare card about 3 weeks after you apply. You enrollment to medicare should be automatic if you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65. Your card will be mailed to your home address about 2 months before you turn 65. When you receive it, be sure that you do not forget to enroll in Part D before your initial enrollment period ends. – if you need prescription drug coverage.

No. You do not have to apply for Medicare each year.

Once you are enrolled, Medicare Parts A and B automatically renews every year unless you fail to pay your premiums.

Applying for Medicare is only the first step to your Health coverage. It is important to know that Medicare does not cover all your medical costs. There are significant costs to you in the deductibles and coinsurance that you must pay on your own. At Nevada Medicare we can help you select the Medicare Supplement coverage or a Medicare Advantage plan that best suits your needs.

Your effective date for Part B often depends on when you have enrolled. In many circumstances, Part B will begin the following month. However this is not always the case. Refer to the chart below or ask our customer care team.

Still unsure about how to sign up for Medicare? You don’t have to submit your Medicare application alone. We can help you register for your Medicare. Our services are always 100% free.

Whether Medicare will be your primary insurance, or you decide to enroll in Medicare Advantage Plan, Medigap, or Part D plans and you’d like a personal guide to take you from applying for Medicare all the way through, we are here to help you.

Contact Nevada Medicare for help today!