What is Part-B?
What they call Original Medicare is comprised of 2 parts. Part A (which has no premium for most people) and Part B which requires a small premium. Some people don’t even realize they are paying a premium for part-b because, for most, it is deducted from their social security each month.
While Part A pays for hospital related expenses, Part B covers medically necessary services and supplies not covered by Part A “like doctors’ services and tests, outpatient care, home health services, durable medical equipment, and other medical services.” 1
How do I enroll in Part-B?
Individuals entitled to premium-free Part A are eligible and are usually automatically enrolled in Part B when eligible. But if you refused Part-B at that time or somehow “fell through the cracks” you can generally enroll during, what they call, an “enrollment period”.
These are the usual three Enrollment Periods
1) Initial Enrollment Period (lasts 7 months)
This is for people just turning 65.
- Begins 3 months before your 65th birthday
- The month you turn 65
- The three months after your birthday
2) Special Enrollment Period
This is for people who were still working and had “credible medical coverage” usually through an employer with 20 or more employees. This period begins immediately after your health coverage or employment ends (whichever comes first) and lasts 8 months.
3) General Enrollment Period
- Runs from January 1 to March 31 each year.
- Once enrolled, the start date will be July 1
- Not enrolling when first eligible, when you do not have credible coverage, means you might have to pay a monthly late penalty.
Enroll by Contacting Social Security,
When it’s time to enroll you should contact the Social Security Administration.
- Stop by your local social security office in-person. (just not during Covid) office locations link
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. (m-f 7am – 7pm)
- Apply Online (here)
You might need the following forms:
Application For Medicare: CMS-40B
If you are using your Special Enrollment Period (CREDIBLE COVERAGE) you will need you employer to fill out the “Loss of employment or group health coverage form”. CMS-L564
Once you have signed up for Parts A & B, you are ready to research your other options such as MediGap Policies (supplements), Part C (Medicare Advantage) & Part D (Prescription Drug Plan).
Please contact a Licensed Insurance agent, like me! to help with the above-mentioned policies or with additional questions about Medicare.