Myth Vs. Fact: You Are Automatically Enrolled Into Medicare.
Partially True! There are instances where one is automatically enrolled into Medicare. However, that is not the case for everyone.
You are automatically enrolled into Original Medicare Parts A and B only if you are already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. You don’t need to do anything; you should get a Welcome letter from Medicare three months before your 65th birthday.
If you are not getting either of these benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you must actively enroll during your initial enrollment period. This seven-month enrollment period includes the 3 months before your birthday, the month of your birthday, and the three months after. Medicare enrollment and the premium is handled through Social Security. You can apply online for Part B at SSA.gov or by going into the Social Security office.
If you miss this enrollment window, you may enroll during the general enrollment period which runs from January 1st to March 31st. However, it is important to note that you will not have a start date until July 1st. Which would most likely cause you to be assessed a late enrollment penalty. Therefore, it is very important not to miss the seven-month window around your 65th birthday.
Many people choose to work past their 65th birthday, and if that is the case, you can defer your Part B if you are covered by a Creditable employer plan. Credible coverage is as good or better than what Medicare provides. You should work with a local expert to understand what your enrollment options are into Medicare and applicable enrollment periods when looking to transition off employer coverage.
Enrollment into Medicare Part D, Supplement, and Medicare Advantage plans is voluntary. However, there are specific enrollment periods and possible penalties if not enrolling into these plans around your initial enrollment period. Reach out to a local Medicare Insurance agent to make sure you are set up for success! VibrantUSA agents are available to assist with any Medicare related questions at 866-733-5111.