If you have 10 minutes, you've got time to sign up for Medicare online. Yes, it's that fast.
If you’re in the process of enrolling in Medicare, there can be many places for confusion to arise. If you’ve already submitted documents and are just waiting for everything to be processed, you may be wondering where you can check the status of your application. Luckily, this is a fairly easy thing to do.
In recent years, Medicare has made an effort to move much of the process online, making checking up on and changing details of your enrollment quick and easy. We’ll run through how to do this and also go over several other details that are relevant to the enrollment process.
Where Are My Enrollment Details?
If you want to check on your details, the best place to do this is either by logging into your Medicare account or your Social Security account. Both should be able to provide you with your Medicare enrollment details, so the choice is yours.
How to Log in to MyMedicare
To log in to your Medicare account, you’ll need to go to MyMedicare.gov. It may be that you don't have an account fully set up, even if you receive Medicare benefits. If you have any questions about how to create or manage your account, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-877-486-2048 for TTY users.
Using your MyMedicare account, you’ll be able to check the details of your enrollment and coverage, as well as do other things like request a new Medicare card or make changes to your coverage details.
How to Log in to Social Security
To log in to your Social Security account, you’ll need to go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ to set up an account or access an existing one. Again, you may not have a Social Security account set up even if you receive Social Security benefits. If you want additional help with setting up or managing your account, you can call 1-800-772-1213, or 1-800-325-0778 for TTY users. You can also visit a Social Security office in person if this is easier for you.
If you have started the enrollment process and want to know if it is being processed or if your coverage has already begun, then calling directly or logging into your account will take care of that for you.
Enrolling During Initial Enrollment
If you’re in the process of getting ready for Medicare coverage to begin and want to understand the details in full, then it’s important to know how Initial Enrollment works. The Initial Enrollment Period is a seven-month long period that centers around your 65th birth month.
Basically, when you turn 65, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare under most circumstances. However, you’ll have seven months total to choose which coverage details you want to access and whether or not you want to defer your coverage entirely.
If you want Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) then you will be enrolled without doing anything if you already receive Social Security benefits. Moreover, your monthly premiums for Part B will be taken straight from your Social Security benefit check, making the entire process much easier.
Some people may want to defer coverage. This can be a good idea if you’re receiving coverage through your employer and want to keep it until you retire. However, making mistakes during this process can also result in unwanted late enrollment penalties. We’ll discuss how to avoid this below.
Either way, these choices are made during the Initial Enrollment Period, so it’s very important to be conscious of when this period occurs, so you can make the most of it. You should be able to make an account at any time during the process to check on your enrollment status.
Special Enrollment Periods
If you’ve deferred your enrollment in Medicare for some reason, you’ll want to enroll in Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period. These are periods of variable length that are triggered by certain life events, like moving or a change in employment status. The purpose of the Special Enrollment Period is to allow you to enroll in Medicare if you need to do so suddenly, so you don’t experience large gaps in coverage.
If you know that you’re going to be retiring and losing your employer-based health coverage, then you should contact Medicare ASAP to get the details about your Special Enrollment status. Once you submit all of the necessary documents, you’ll be able to make a Medicare account to check on the status of your enrollment.
Which Parts of Medicare Can I Check Up On?
Medicare is divided up into distinct parts, each of which functions slightly differently. Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B are considered to be “Original Medicare”. These are offered by the United States government and are the simplest to enroll in since the process is automatic for most.
However, there are also other options such as Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, and Medigap, or Medicare Supplement plans.
Checking Enrollment Status on Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, offers you a way to get your Medicare health care coverage through a private insurance company. This can sometimes come with additional benefits, and it’s up to you to decide if this is a good fit for your needs.
Because these plans are private, your plan and company will probably have their own online health insurance portal. This is where you’ll be checking up on your enrollment details, so make sure you know how to log in.
Each plan is different, and some may require you to call an agent or representative to check on your details. If you’re enrolling in Medicare Advantage, just make sure to know the details for your plan.
Checking Details for Part D and Medigap Plans
Medicare Part D is dedicated to prescription drug coverage. And, like Part C, it is offered by private health insurance companies rather than the government. As such, enrolling will be similar. You will have to find a plan that’s right for you and use their services and representatives to check on your enrollment.
The same goes for Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. These plans offer supplementary coverage to help take care of out-of-pocket costs that you incur as part of Original Medicare. They are offered by private insurance companies, so checking up on everything will function as it does for other private plans.
Things to Keep in Mind as You Enroll
If you’re entering the Initial Enrollment Period, then you should take the time to set up a MyMedicare and Social Security account online. This will make changing and checking up on your enrollment a breeze later on. Otherwise, the entire process is developed to be streamlined from the start, so just make sure you know who to call if you have any questions.
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