How To Apply For Medicare

If you’re approaching 65, it’s essential to find out how and when to apply for Medicare. While it may seem overwhelming, enrolling in Medicare can be simple with access to the correct information. 

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn
Older couple at desk with laptop

At Health Plans of NC, we help North Carolina residents find the right Medicare plan for their health needs and budget. We can help with your enrollment questions and talk you through the entire Medicare application process. Get in touch with one of our local North Carolina Medicare agents today to find out more.

How do I apply for Medicare?

There are various ways you can apply for Medicare. For example, you can apply over the phone or in person at your local Social Security office. You can also apply for Medicare online. If you’re applying online or in person, the process is usually faster than applying over the phone. 

Your local Social Security office can help with your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B application. 

When do I apply for Medicare?

You’re eligible for Medicare once you turn 65. You can apply for Medicare during what’s known as your Initial Enrollment Period. This period is based on your birthday. It’s a seven-month period that starts three months before you turn 65, throughout your birthday month, and three months after your birthday. Registering for Medicare during this time means you’ll avoid any late penalties.

Suppose Medicare is your primary form of health insurance once you turn 65. In that case, it’s a good idea to enroll in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B before your birthday to ensure your coverage begins as soon as you turn 65. If you’re already receiving social security benefits, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65. 

Typically, you’ll receive your Medicare card approximately three weeks after you apply. If you’re automatically enrolled, it should arrive about three months before your birthday. Once you have your Medicare card, you can also enroll in Medicare Part D for your prescription drug coverage. Our experienced local Medicare agents are located all over North Carolina, including Charlotte, Raleigh, and Durham, so we can help answer the ‌questions you have about enrolling in all the different parts of Medicare. 

What if I have health insurance through an employer?

If you have employer-sponsored health insurance and are still working when you turn 65, you can still enroll in Medicare. If you work for a company with over 20 employees, your Medicare will be secondary to your employer coverage. This means you can choose to enroll in Part B Medicare when you turn 65, or you can defer your enrollment until you finish working without penalties. However, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part B within eight months of your employer coverage ending to avoid any lifetime penalties and future coverage delays. Seeking professional advice from a specialized Medicare agent can help ensure you avoid any unnecessary costs.

If you’re still working on your 65th birthday, it can be a good idea to compare the costs of your employer coverage against Medicare to help decide what the best option is for your health and budget. Our Medicare agents NC can help you figure out the best choice for your health needs, and we can help you enroll in Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or both. 

Other important Medicare considerations

Here are some other things to consider when applying for Medicare: 

  • If you work for an employer with less than 20 employees, it’s important to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period to avoid paying late penalties. 

  • You only need to apply once for Medicare. 

  • Medicare Part A and Part B automatically renew every year as long as you’re paying your premiums.

  • Medicare Part D also automatically renews, but your prescription benefits may vary each year. So it’s essential to check your coverage every year and make changes to your plan if required. 

Need help applying?

If you’ve got any questions or aren’t sure how to apply, we’re here to help. We can help you choose the best coverage for your needs and offer assistance with applying for Medicare. So get in touch with us today or compare plans online. 

Ready to get started?
Get a free quote today.
Get Started