Life Transitions: When and How to Apply for Medicare

Life transitions like that of entering or heading into retirement can be exciting. However, they can also be somewhat scary, especially if you haven’t planned ahead too much. One issue of trepidation that should be addressed is how to continue getting health coverage once you make your way out of the workforce and into the world of retirement. Thankfully, Medicare is a great way to receive medical coverage into retirement. Make sure you are informed of the Medicare types and coverages, as well as how to begin the application process, preferably before you need to begin utilizing this health coverage. On that point, continue reading for more information on how and when to apply for Medicare: 

Do You Need To Sign Up for Medicare?

It depends. If you are already collecting retirement benefits from Social Security, then you are enrolled automatically in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Therefore, no additional action on your part is required. You can expect your Medicare medical coverage to begin on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 years of age. 

How Do You Sign Up For Medicare?

If you desire to sign up for Medicare, the best time to do this is during your initial enrollment period. This includes a seven-month window of opportunity that begins three months before the first day of the month in which you turn 65 years of age. 

Here's How You Sign Up For Medicare:

  1. First, fill out your online application here on the Social Security Administration's website. 
  2. Then, visit your local Social Security office in your area. Use this locator tool to find the Social Security office nearest you. 
What is the Difference Between the Supplemental Plan versus the Advantage Medicare Plans?

The original Medicare plan will often leave you with some out-of-pocket costs when it comes to paying for needed medical care. In addition, it does not provide any dental or vision coverage. Private Medicare plans are often a good workaround for this problem, providing a viable solution. However, there are pros and cons to each type of coverage. Read on to learn the main differences between the advantage and supplemental plans:

  • Advantage Plan: When you purchase this Medicare Advantage plan, you can rest easy knowing that you will have comprehensive health coverage. This will often include extra benefits as well, such as dental care, routine vision care and even some coverage for prescription drug costs. However, the stipulation of the Advantage Plan is you must remain in the authorized and preapproved network of providers to get your medical care covered. You will also in many cases have to obtain prior authorization for certain procedures and tests. This plan will effectively replace your original Medicare. 

  • Supplemental Plan: The Medicare Supplement plan exists to further complete Medicare coverage. Most of these plans cover out-of-pocket costs that tend to come along with both Medicare part A and B. With your supplement plan, you should not expect to get much extra coverage. Supplement plans also have restrictions you must adhere to in order to obtain coverage like prior authorizations and sticking to a provider network. This does not replace your Medicare plan but acts as a rider to the plan, just extending its basic coverage. 
You're Having a Birthday in a Few Months, What Action Should You Take?

If you are getting close to your birthday that will qualify you to be eligible for Medicare and you want more information on how to get the ball rolling, you can call Washington DC and speak to a representative. However, if you want more personalized, friendlier attention and would like to speak to a Missouri representative call 877-405-9803

We Agree, It's Confusing

We understand Medicare can be confusing and doesn’t always cover everything you want or need. At Winter-Dent specialists, we are here to help connect you with the right supplemental plan to ensure all your needs are met. Contact us today to learn more. 


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