By Nick Moulton
This July marks the 56th an-niversary of Medicare. Did you know you can apply for Medicare online even if you are not ready to start your retirement benefits? Applying online can take less than 10 minutes. There are no forms to sign and we usually require no additional documentation. We’ll process your application and contact you if we need more information.
Knowing when to apply for Medicare is very important. You have a limited initial enrollment period to ap- ply. If you miss the initial enrollment period, you may have to pay a higher monthly premium.
If you’re eligible for Medicare at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after that birthday. Visit www.ssa.gov benefits/medicare to apply for Medi-care benefits and find other important information.
Some Medicare beneficiaries may qualify for Extra Help with their Med- icare prescription drug plan costs. To qualify for Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Read our publication Understanding The Extra Help With Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for more information at www.ssa.gov/pubs/ EN-05-10508.pdf
The official Medicare website at Medicare.gov offers many online services where you can find answers to these questions:
What does Medicare cover? www .medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers
Where do I find forms for filing a Medicare appeal? www.medicare.gov/ claims-appeals/how-do-i-file-an-appeal
How can I let someone speak with Medicare on my behalf? www.medi care.gov/claims-appeals/file-an-appeal/ can-someone-file-an-appeal-for-me
What do Medicare health and prescription drug plans in my area cost, and what services do they offer? www.medicare.gov/plan-compare
Which doctors, health care providers, and suppliers participate in Medicare? www.medicare.gov/forms-help-resources/find-compare-doctors-hospitals-other-providers
Where can I find out more about a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) and enroll? www.medicare.gov /drug-coverage-part-d/how-to-get-pre scription-drug-coverage
Where can I find a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy in my area? www.medicare.gov/med igap-supplemental-insurance-plans
Please share these helpful resources with friends and family today.