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Some people may be automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65 — if they meet certain conditions. If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you can enroll online in just a few minutes. Simply fill out a Medicare application through the Social Security website.
Most people can sign up for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday. Once you become eligible to sign up for Medicare, you have 7 months (known as your Initial Enrollment Period) to enroll. If you fail to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you could end up paying more for your healthcare, unless you qualify for special enrollment.
Medicare Advantage plans provide at least the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B, but may offer additional benefits that they do not, such as:
You must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B before you can enroll in Medicare Advantage. You must live in the plan’s service area, and you generally may not have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
If you’re new to Medicare and would like to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can do so anytime during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period. Your Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month and ends 3 months after your 65th birthday.
If you do not enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during your initial enrollment period, you will have another chance to enroll during the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
Unlike Original Medicare, which is managed by the federal government, Medicare Advantage is managed by private insurers who have control over the plans they offer and how much they charge for them.
Even if you enroll in Medicare Advantage, you will still have to pay a monthly Part B premium, which is around $134 in 2018.
If your Medicare Advantage plan has a premium, you are responsible for paying it on top of your Medicare Part B premium. Some Medicare Advantage plans have premiums as low as $0,2 so we recommend shopping around to find the best deal.
Note: the insurance company determines your out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, copayment and coinsurance, so specific out-of-pocket amounts will vary from plan to plan.
Once you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, a licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans and get you enrolled in one that works for you.
Speak with a licensed agent at 1-866-580-3851, TTY: 711 to learn more about your options and enroll in a plan today.
2*You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. $0 premium plans may not be available in all areas.