Easy online sign up for Medicare Parts A/B

Read this first before watching video:

 

The first thing to note is that if you are already receiving monthly cash social security benefits,, then you don't need to do anything to enroll in Parts A and B of Medicare. The government will automatically do it for you. But if you have NOT yet started claiming Social Security, then this tutorial is for you.

Not mentioned in the video but important to know: when you are putting in your address do not use any periods or dashes. So for example if you live on Maple Ave, do not put put a period after Ave, just put Ave

For that matter, if you put in periods or dashes on anything in the online application, you will then try and click next and it won't go anywhere.

Also important to know is that if your name has changed or you recently moved for example, and you have not yet reported this to Social Security, then it may not let you sign up online for Medicare if you put in the new information. What happens is you will start an application and it will then say something like, "The information we have on file is different, you must file in person or make an appointment with us over the phone."

NEW--Please note: The video tutorial below does not mention the brand new way that the government made it more difficult to enroll in Parts A and B online. When you go to sign up online (per instructions in video) they will now ask you if you have a "my Social Security account?"

So here are your two options at that point: You will see a page in the beginning stages that poses two questions:

o I am applying for myself

o I am helping someone who is not with me, and therefore cannot sign the application at this time.

If you choose "I am applying for myself" you will per their prompting, have to create a "my Social Security account."

Here's where it sometimes gets difficult. When you sign up for a "my Social Security account" they will post some real and some fake personal information they have access to about your addresses or loans you have taken out etc. (crazy but true). You'll have to identify which is the correct information so that they can verify that it is really you. If you answer anything wrong, they'll shut you out of the account for at least 24 hours and may end up not letting you sign up online.

 

I have seen it happen to people where the information they have on a person may be different than what the person thinks it should be, resulting in them getting shut out of the online process. FOR THIS REASON, I recommend  that you go to https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/ and set up an account so that later, when you go to sign up for A and B, it will be a smooth process.  If you want to see a PDF tutorial on my actual experience in signing up for my own "my Account, click on the following link: https://www.medicareeasy.net/myssaccount 

HOWEVER, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HASSLE WITH THE "my Social Security account" THERE IS A SLOWER BUT EASIER WAY: Instead choose "I am helping someone who is not with me, and therefore cannot sign the application at this time." Even though you really are just applying for yourself if you instead choose this "I am helping someone who it not with me, and therefore cannot sign the application at this time" option, it will allow you to continue with your application without creating a my Social Security Account. 

What will happen then, is instead of being able to sign it online, they will subsequently snail-mail a paper version of you the application you filled out, for you to confirm and sign and mail back to them, or (when covid ban lifts) drop off signed application at local Social Security office. This option means you will not be able to check online to see if you are approved and print out your acceptance letter and Medicare Number, but again it easier to do and works better for many people. You later should get your Medicare card in the mail (which will also happen if you enroll completely online). Please note, if you choose this option, it will ask you who the preparer is. In other words, who is helping you. So if you are doing it yourself, you can't put your own name as the preparer/helper. So just put a spouse or other family member as the helper/preparer.

Checklist for easy AB Enroll

1. No dots or dashes in address etc. Name or address changes have already been reported to Social Security.

2. When it asks about whether you want part B, the answer is yes (unless you will have group health coverage through work beyond age 65).

3. If you were not born in this country, have the exact date you became a citizen on hand. If not a citizen, that may ask you for your green card number.

4. It will ask if you want to apply for only Medicare or monthly cash benefits (Social Security). Usually if you just want to keep it simple, the answer is yes, only Medicare .

5. When it asks about if you have work coverage: the answer is usually no. The exception would be if you are not losing group health coverage through work once you hit age 65.  So even if you have group health coverage right now while signing up for parts  A and B, if you won't have it later at 65 then just answer no.

 

6.Write down or print your re-entry number.

7. You won't need to put anything in the remarks page unless you guessed on anything.

8. Once you click on submit, it will go to a page that tells you  have successfully submitted the application. Look over that last page carefully. Because if there is anything else they feel they need from you such as a birth or marriage certificate, it may say so on that page. Otherwise, that is it, you are done.

 

9. Most of the time your A/B application gets approved within one week. However, I have seen it take over a month. Avoid all of that by applying early. Ideally within 3 months of your birth month (not birthday, but birth month!) Note if you were born on the FIRST day of the month, your Medicare is supposed to actually start on the first of the month before your birth month. and so you can apply for A/B  3 months before that.

Here follows a PDF link (click on the PDf icon) to screenshots of what the application actually looks like and some addition information that is not in the video. 

How will you pay for Part B?

If you are not yet getting monthly Social Security cash benefits then the government cannot take out of those funds to pay for your Part B (which, in 2017 is $134 monthly, unless you make over $85,000 filing single or $170,000 filing joint, then it costs $187.50 or more-per month. If you do make more, contact me regarding specifics, and especially if your income has dropped or will soon because they automatically look at the last two years and not current income, but you can remedy that if it applies to you). So they have two methods for you to pay. The default method is to send you a quarterly bill, which would be $402 per quarter. The second way is for you to set up "Easy Pay," so they can automatically deduct it from your bank account every month. Here follows a link to their easy pay form:  https://www.cms.gov/medicare/cms-forms/cms-forms/downloads/sf5510english.pdf

You fill out the form and send it in to the government--instructions are included with the form. 

Finally, please realize that I am trying to be thorough so all the detail may seem intimidating. You can always go in person to Social Security or do it over the phone. But really, for most people their online application goes smoothly and saves a lot of time and hassle.