In order to enroll for Medicare benefits, there are a number of criteria and factors which must be met. These factors are outlined below.
When you turn 65
- The majority of Americans become eligible for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. Enrolment is dependent upon whether you are in receipt of Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits:
- If aged 65 and currently getting Social Security retirement benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, persons will be automatically enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. Persons who come into this category do not need to contact anyone, and will receive an information pack in the months preceding their 65th Depending upon which type of retirement benefits they are in receipt of, their package will either come from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board. The pack also explains that the monthly Part B premium will be automatically deducted from their retirement benefit on a month to month basis. There is the option at this point to opt out of Part B, it is not mandatory. If you do not have employer insurance and you turn down Part B, you may have to pay a hefty premium penalty when you do sign up.
- If aged 65, but not receiving retirement benefits they will need to actively enroll in Medicare. To actively enroll, persons must contact their local social security office or local Railroad Retirement Board field office.
Special Enrolment Circumstances
There are also special circumstances under which people under 65 can enrol on Medicare:
- A disabled widow or widower between age 50 and age 65 who is already in receipt of another Social Security benefit.
- A government employee who became disabled before the age of 65.
- A person, their partner, or dependent child develops permanent kidney failure.
- Someone who has had Medicare medical insurance (Part B) in the past but opted out of the coverage.
- Someone who worked for the railroad industry, or if their spouse did.