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how to apply original medicare part a b

How to Apply for Medicare Part B

Did you previously decline Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period because you had employer health plan coverage or some other reason? Learn when and how to apply to receive Medicare Part B.

What is Original Medicare?

Original Medicare is the most basic coverage offered by the government. Original Medicare coverage includes Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

How to Apply for Medicare

Here are the four ways to apply for Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A & B) through the Social Security Administration.

Enrolled in Medicare Part A? Skip below to “Already Enrolled in Medicare Part A.”

Choose the most convenient method for you:

  1. Apply online at Social Security Medicare Benefits.
  2. Visit your local Social Security office. Find your field office.
  3. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in all U.S. time zones.
  4. If you worked for a railroad, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 1-877-772-5772.

Find the right Medicare plan for you

Already Enrolled in Medicare Part A

If you’re already enrolled in Medicare Part A but previously refused MedicarePart B, you can still sign up. You can enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period, during the Open Enrollment Period, or a Special Enrollment Period. The timing depends on why you initially declined to enroll in Medicare Part B.

Read the three scenarios below to learn your next steps. If you need help, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in all U.S. time zones.

1. You’re in your Initial Enrollment Period & previously declined Part B

If you’re in your Initial Enrollment Period, enrolled in Medicare Part A, but previously declined Medicare Part B there is still time to enroll. Your Initial Enrollment Period is seven months long: three months prior to your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and the three months after you turn age 65.

Go to the Medicare Eligibility and Premium Calculator to confirm your initial enrollment period. Visit Medicare.gov/eligibilitypremiumcalc or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227 or TTY 1-877-486-2048).

If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B (medical insurance). Send your application to your local Social Security Office. Find your local field office at www.ssa.gov.

Read more below in Next Steps.

2. You declined Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period and it wasn’t because you had other health plan coverage

You didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period for some reason other than because you had health plan coverage, but now want Part B? You may sign-up for Part B during the Open Enrollment Period (January 1 – March 31 of each year).

If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B (medical insurance). Send your application to your local Social Security Office. Find your local field office at www.ssa.gov.

Read more below in Next Steps.

3. You declined Part B because you had group health plan coverage through your or your spouse’s employer

Did you refuse Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period because you had group health plan coverage through your or your spouse’s employment? Did you recently lose that coverage? You may sign up during your eight-month Special Enrollment Period, directly after you lose employer health coverage.

You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the eight-month Special Enrollment Period:

Note: When completing the forms CMS-40B and CMS-L564. State “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application. If possible, your employer should complete Section B.

Secondary Evidence

If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:

  • Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
  • W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
  • Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
  • Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
  • Explanations of benefits paid by the Group Health Plan (GHP) or Large Group Health Plan (LGHP).
  • Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.

Next steps

How to check the status of your application

Once your Medicare Part B application is processed, you will receive a notification letter in the mail to inform you of whether your application was approved.

If you haven’t received a response in 45 days, you can check the status of your application. There are four ways to do that. Choose the one most convenient for you:

  1. Logging in to your My Social Security account. To check the status of your Medicare application on the Social Security website, you will need to enter your Social Security number and the confirmation number you received when you filed your application.
  2. Visiting your local Social Security office. Find your field office.
  3. Calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM in all U.S. time zones.
  4. Visiting the Check Enrollment page on your MyMedicare.gov account.

After you’re enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B

  • Gather your health information

Gather the names of your current doctors, specialists, and the prescription medications you take. Having this information accessible will allow Connie Health to tell you which plans have your doctors in their network and cover your prescription medications. It will also allow us to provide cost-sharing information and an estimated monthly and annual cost for each of your prescriptions.

You’ll also want to consider whether additional benefits are important to you. Do you want coverage for hearing aids, glasses or contacts, and dental? Or do you need coverage for over-the-counter and wellness products, transportation assistance, telemedicine, or a fitness program? Sharing how vital these extra benefits are to you will allow Connie Health to show you plans that meet your specific needs.

  • Compare Medicare plans

Comparing your plan options will give you the confidence to know you’ve made the right choice for your health needs and budget. It’s easy to compare plans in your area. Click to compare Medicare plans. Or call (623) 223-8884 (TTY: 711), to speak with a local licensed agent.

  • Enroll with a local licensed agent

A local licensed Connie Health agent can help you get more coverage from a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D), or a Medicare Supplemental insurance plan (Medigap policy).

To enroll, your local licensed Connie Health agent can meet you at your home or other location of your choosing, over video or phone call. Whichever method is most convenient for you.

They’ll discuss your current doctors and specialists, hospital networks, medications, health needs, and budget. Based on this, they’ll help you sort through your plan options to find the best fit for your health and budget. Call (623) 223-8884 (TTY: 711), to schedule a time to enroll with a local licensed Connie Health agent.

  • Know when you can make plan changes

Connie Health will help you sort through your options today, but that choice isn’t permanent. Isn’t that a relief? Your health needs or budget may change during the year and we’re here to support you.

It’s important to do an annual plan review sometime between October 15 and December 7 every year, but it’s also vital to know when you could be eligible to make changes. If you move, lose your coverage, your plan changes its contract with Medicare, or other situations allow for a Special Enrollment Period. If your health or budget needs ever change – or you move – call your local licensed Connie Health agent to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

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Speak with a local licensed insurance agent
David Luna Co-founder and
Licensed Insurance Agent
(623) 223-8884 (TTY: 711) Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
There's no obligation to enroll

Read more by David Luna

I am a Spanish-speaking Arizona Life and Health Insurance Licensed Agent and have been helping people with Medicare since 2005. I am a Marine Corps Veteran & former police officer. I enjoy watching football and basketball but hold family time in the highest regard.

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Speak with a local licensed insurance agent
David Luna Co-founder and
Licensed Insurance Agent
(623) 223-8884 (TTY: 711) Mon-Fri 8am-6pm
There's no obligation to enroll

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The Essential Guide for Beginners
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