Novant Health is Ready to Answer Common Medicare Questions
If I start receiving Social Security Benefits at 62, am I eligible for Medicare?
No. You must be 65 to be eligible for Medicare benefits. The exception is if you are under age 65 and have a qualified disability.
Do I need to sign up for Medicare before I turn 65?
If you’re not currently collecting Social Security benefits, then yes, you do need to contact Social Security three months before turning 65.
What if I wait until 66 or older to start my Medicare benefits?
You must contact Social Security to enroll and start your benefits. You could pay a higher premium for late enrollment. If you’re covered under a group health plan based on current employment, you will be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B any time as long as you or your spouse is working. You also have eight months starting the month after the employment ends to sign up for Part B without a penalty.
When do I enroll in Medicare?
There are four different opportunities for enrollment.
- Initial enrollment period: You have 7 months to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. This starts 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday.
- Annual enrollment period: October 15th to December 7th each year. This is your opportunity to make changes to your Medicare medical and prescription drug coverage.
- Open enrollment period: January 1st to March 31st. If you have Medicare Advantage you can switch Medicare Advantage plans or return to Original Medicare.
- Special enrollment period: You can change your coverage after a qualifying event such as moving or losing other insurance coverage.
Visit Medicare.gov to learn about the different opportunities for enrollment.
Joining a plan | Medicare
How do I enroll in Medicare?
Call or visit your local Social Security office or enroll online at ssa.gov.
What if I miss an enrollment date?
It’s best to call Medicare directly at (800) 633-4227 (800-MEDICARE) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY/TDD users should call (877) 486-2048. Talk with a representative, explain your circumstances, and ask if you can still enroll or need to wait until the next enrollment period.
What are late enrollment penalties?
If you fail to sign up for Medicare coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period, you may be subject to penalties. Visit https://www.medicare.gov/basics/costs/medicare-costs for more information.
Can I be refused for Medicare coverage?
No. All people age 65 and older are eligible to receive or purchase Medicare benefits.
Can I switch Medicare plans?
Yes. In fact, it’s smart to review your medical needs every year and decide whether your current Medicare plan is working for you. You have the option with Medicare Advantage plans to change once a year during the annual enrollment period (AEP), unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
If I’m covered, is my spouse automatically covered?
No. Each person must sign up for Medicare individually.
When I go on Medicare, do I need to stay with the same insurance company I have through my employer?
No. You can choose any type of plan you want, from any insurance company you want. It’s best to look at available plans, speak with your employer group benefits administrator, compare your options, and choose the best value.
When I enroll for Parts A and B with Social Security, do I also enroll for Part D?
No. Part D enrollment is different. If you want Medicare prescription drug benefits (Part D), you must enroll in a private insurance plan that contracts with Medicare. You can join either a Medicare Advantage plan that offers combined health and drug coverage in one plan or join a stand-alone plan that covers prescriptions only.
Will my Part A premiums automatically be deducted from my Social Security check?
No. Most people will not pay a monthly premium for Part A if you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes while working (10-year minimum). If you don’t meet the requirements and purchase Part A, you will receive a monthly bill from Medicare.
If I choose just Original Medicare (Part A and B), are there added costs?
Yes. You will pay deductibles, copays, coinsurance and Part B premiums.
Do I have to sign up for Part B (medical services)?
If you are 65 and have credible coverage through an employer, you do not have to sign up for Part B. If you do not have credible employer coverage, you must sign up for Part B or may incur a late enrollment penalty.
If I’m still working and on my employer’s health plan when I turn 65, do I need to sign up for Part B during my Initial Enrollment Period?
No. You can wait until you’re ready to move off your (or your spouse’s) employer plan. When you do, you’ll qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and have an 8-month window to sign up for Part B. It begins when your employer or union coverage ends, or when employment ends, whichever is first. Be sure to elect Part B at that time to avoid the late enrollment penalty.
What is the cost I pay for Part B coverage?
Most people pay approximately $165 per month, but if your income is above a certain amount, you could pay more. Medicare revises this amount periodically. Visit https://www.medicare.gov/basics/costs/medicare-costs for more information.
If I choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, will I still pay Part B?
Yes. You will continue to pay your Part B premium and the monthly premium from your health plan.