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How to Enroll in Medicare: A Complete Guide

For adults over the age of 65, Medicare provides reliable and cost-effective health insurance coverage. Medicare is also available for some adults under the age of 65 with certain qualifying conditions, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease or end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

If you qualify, you might be wondering – how do I sign up for Medicare coverage? 

At Senior Insurance Agency, we help eligible recipients find coverage that best suits their needs. Here’s a step-by-step look at how to apply for Medicare and how to find the plan that’s best for your needs.


Medicare Eligibility and Timing

So when can you apply for Medicare?

 Most US citizens over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare benefits. If you apply for Social Security benefits or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board prior to turning 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B).

When Can You Apply for Medicare? 

If you are not collecting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits prior to turning 65, you will need to apply for Medicare through the Social Security Administration. 

Some people will qualify for Medicare earlier in life as the result of a qualifying disability. In most cases, if you are collecting Social Security Disability benefits,  you will automatically be enrolled after receiving Social Security disability benefits for 24 months.

When is the Enrollment Period for Medicare? 

The Initial Election Period is the time that you are able to apply for Medicare when turning 65. This period begins three months prior to the first of the month of your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and extends three months following. If you fail to enroll during these periods, you may face a late enrollment penalty.

to find the right Medicare plan for their needs. Reach out today to get started and learn more about your Medicare plan options. 


Understanding Medicare Parts

Medicare has four parts, each of which provides a different type of healthcare coverage. Original Medicare consists of Part A and Part B.

Original Medicare – Part A and B

The base coverage that you get with Medicare when you apply through social security is Medicare Parts A and B.  Medicare part A (hospital insurance) covers inpatient services, such as hospital stays and some forms of hospice care and skilled nursing services. Part B (medical insurance) covers outpatient care, like doctor’s appointments, medical supplies, and preventive care.

Medicare Advantage – Part C 

Medicare part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is a Medicare funded plan that is offered by private insurance companies. When enrolling in these plans, you are assigning all your Original Medicare benefits to the Medicare Advantage plan that you enroll in. This means that the Medicare Advantage plan becomes your primary insurance. Medicare Advantage plans generally include prescription drug coverage and may also offer dental and vision coverage. 

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D provides coverage for prescription medications. Similar to Part C, Part D plans are offered through private insurance companies. Part D plans can be combined with a Medicare advantage plan, or as a standalone prescription drug plan. If you choose to opt out of a Part D plan, you may experience a late enrollment penalty in the future.

Medicare Enrollment Methods

If you’re wondering “how do I enroll in Medicare for the first time?”

You have a few options to choose from. One of the easiest ways to sign up for Medicare is to apply online. This can be done through the Social Security Administration online portal

Another option is to contact the Social Security Administration by phone. You can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

Finally, you can sign up for Medicare in person by visiting your local Social Security office. The SSA has offices in cities and towns throughout the United States. 

Choosing a Medicare Plan

When you sign up for Part A and Part B of Medicare, you’ll need to determine whether you also want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan. You’ll also need to sign up for Part D prescription drug coverage.

Everyone has different medical needs. When assessing plans, consider which medical services you use most often and whether they will be covered.

You’ll also need to consider the cost benefits of each plan and how it fits into your current budget. For example, some people find that an Original Medicare plan with a Medicare Supplement plan and a stand alone prescription drug plan is the right fit for them, while others choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MAPD).


Completing Your Enrollment and Next Steps

After you enroll in Medicare, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail within 2-6 weeks. You can also expect to receive a “Medicare & You” book. You will also want to research and enroll in Medicare Part C, Part D, or Medicare Supplement plans at this point. It is important to complete this prior to your Medicare start date to ensure that you are not left underinsured.


Find Your Medicare Plan With Senior Insurance Agency

By signing up for Medicare, you get access to affordable and high-quality healthcare coverage for your peace of mind. Choosing a Medicare plan may seem confusing, but you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources available to help you understand the details of these plans and find an option that works for you. 

Senior Insurance Agency works closely with Nevada residents to find the right Medicare plan for their needs. Reach out today to get started and learn more about your Medicare plan options. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About

Most people get Medicare automatically when they turn 65 – if you are already receiving Social Security benefits or benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board. Those not receiving these benefits need to sign up for Medicare. The initial enrollment period starts three months before the recipient’s 65th birthday and continues for seven months, ending three months after their birthday month. 

The primary requirements for Medicare eligibility are: 

  • Being 65 years or older
  • Being a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident for at least five consecutive years, 

If you are under 65, you can still qualify for Medicare if you have a qualifying disability or specific medical conditions like End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

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We do not offer every plan in your area. Currently, we represent (See Below) organizations which offer (See Below) products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.
Carson City 7 organizations which offer 34 products in your area - Churchill 5 organizations which offer 21 products in your area - Clark 8 organizations which offer 50 products in your area Nye 7 organizations which offer 43 products in your area - Douglas 6 organizations which offer 27 products in your area - Lyon 6 organizations which offer 24 products in your area - Mineral 1 organizations which offer 4 products in your area - Storey 7 organizations which offer 31 products in your area - Washoe 9 organizations which offer 43 products in your area - NV 7 organizations which offer 20 PDP products in your area