6 Steps to Enroll in Medicare

Is number 65 creeping closer? Then, it’s probably time to start thinking about enrolling in Medicare.

This 6-step guide will get you started on the right foot and in plenty of time to add a shiny new Medicare ID card to your wallet!

birthday cake for seniors turning 65 years old

Step 1: Mark Your Calendar

You will want to begin your Medicare journey three months before your 65th birthday. While you do have a 6-month window to apply, it’s best to start this process early.

You may apply for Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (outpatient insurance) three months before turning 65. Your timeline extends to three months after your birthday. This timeline is referred to as the Initial Enrollment Period.

However, to enroll in additional plans like Medigap insurance, Medicare Advantage, and Part D, you must have your Medicare ID number. Therefore, securing your Medicare card quickly will allow you plenty of time to enroll in additional plans.

Step 2: Research Your Options

While it is wise to sign up for Part A even if you continue working, there are instances when enrollment during your initial enrollment period doesn’t make sense for your situation.

(You’ll get Medicare Part A for “free” if you have met specific criteria set by the federal government.)

For example, suppose you have a creditable health plan through your current employer, and that employer pays your premiums. In that case, you may not need the additional Medicare coverage provided by Part B. (Remember, you will have a monthly premium when you sign up for Medicare Part B.)

There are many other things to consider before you make the final decision to enroll in Medicare Part B.

Step 3: Apply for Medicare

There are three ways to sign up for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

  1. Apply online at SSA.gov.
  2. Make an appointment at your local social security office.
  3. Call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY call 1-800-325-0778)

After you have submitted your application, you’ll wait for your Medicare card to arrive in the mail.

If you’d like more details about the enrollment process, read our article about the 3 ways to enroll.

*If you are already receiving social security benefits, you will automatically enroll in Parts A and B.

Step 4: Schedule an Appointment with an Agent

This step can be completed before you apply. While Sunflower Insurance Solutions can’t apply for Parts A and B for you, we can answer any questions about the process or your unique situation.

No matter which order you do them, this step is where we start talking about your additional needs.

Your agent can compare Medigap versus Medicare Advantage plan options, prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D), and Dental, Vision, and Hearing (DVH) plans.

It’s essential to use an agency like Sunflower Insurance Solutions instead of a direct carrier. An insurance company can only tell you what they offer and their rates. They will not compare their rates to other companies, so you won’t know if you could get a better price with another company.

For even more reasons to use an independent agent, check out our article here.

We can compare plans and prices of over 40 companies, ensuring that you get the best solution for your needs.

Whether you choose to enroll with a plan through us or not, there is absolutely no cost to you.

Step 5: Submit Applications for Additional Coverage

If you decide to enroll in additional policies, your agent will fill out all of your paperwork. They will take time to explain all the forms and gather your answers to questions.

At this time, you’ll be able to decide how you want to pay your premiums for the additional policies. If you’d like the premiums drafted directly from your bank account, your agent can set that up for you as well.

You’ll just need to sign the paperwork!

man filling out medicare enrollment paperwork

Step 6: Enjoy Your Birthday

That’s it! You’ve completed all the steps necessary to ensure you have adequate healthcare coverage now and in the future. So, we think it’s time for you to sit back and celebrate your birthday worry-free!

Give us a call about Medicare options today.

Dani is a licensed health and life insurance advisor. She is also the creator of everything you see on our social media accounts and runs Blaze Creative, a content-writing and copywriting agency designed specifically for Medicare brokers.

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