If you’re turning 65 and live in Missouri, you’ve probably been wondering when you should sign up for Medicare or how to apply for Medicare in Missouri. It’s a question everyone turning 65 has to answer, and we’re here to help.
Just know that you will not get Medicare automatically in Missouri when you turn 65 unless you are already drawing Social Security, so be sure to take all the steps to get your coverage. You’ve been paying into the Medicare fund your whole working life, so now is the time to take advantage of the benefits. Here’s what you need to know to get started:
There are two ways you can handle signing up for Medicare in Missouri.
- Complete all of the steps yourself. By using the sign up form on the Social Security website, you can enter all of your information and go through the application process at home. You can also call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and someone will walk you through it. Both of these processes get you enrolled in Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B ( medical coverage). If you want any additional Part D prescription coverage, you can compare options with our online tool or schedule a consultation with us.
- Work with a licensed Missouri Medicare broker. Of course, we’re partial to this method because it’s our line of work. But we got into the business because we saw what a huge learning curve there is to all of the different plans and the process in itself. At 417Medicare, our brokers are on your side, with no cost to you. That’s right! We’ve been built into the system so that you can have a trusted professional on your side and in your community.
What are Medicare Parts A & B?
Part A is hospital coverage and you can usually sign up without a premium if you’ve paid into Medicare tax for 40 quarters. Part B is medical coverage that comes with a premium. In 2020, the Part B premium starts at $144.60 depending on your income from two years ago. It can get a little confusing if you haven’t dealt with it before, so here’s a chart that may help. If you’re still not clear on your options (which is normal!) just give us a call and we can walk you through everything.
Can I sign up for Medicare at any time?
If you need Part B- no. There are certain periods when you can apply and enroll in Medicare. When you turn 65, you have a 7 month period around your birthday when you can apply. It includes 3 months before your birthday month, your birthday month, and 3 months after that month. After that Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) you can also enroll every year during the General Enrollment Period which is January 1st to March 31st.
If you only want Part A, you can sign up at any time.
What are the Medicare enrollment periods? When can I sign up for Medicare in Missouri?
Like we just talked about, there are three enrollment periods you need to be aware of.
When is the Initial Enrollment Period?
The Initial Enrollment Period, or IEP, is the period surrounding your 65th birthday. It includes your birthday month, 3 months before, and 3 months after.
When is the General Enrollment Period?
The General Enrollment Period happens on a yearly basis between January 1st and March 31st. If you haven’t yet enrolled in Part B and you’re past the Initial Enrollment Period, you’ll have to wait until this period. Coverage will begin on July 1st after you enroll in the General Enrollment Period.
What is a Special Enrollment Period?
Special Enrollment Periods happen when big changes happen in your life, such as losing group coverage from work or moving. There are lots of different circumstances when you can apply during a Special Enrollment Period, so be sure to talk to a Missouri broker about your options.
Do I have to sign up for Social Security benefits if I sign up for Medicare?
Nope! When you are filling out your Medicare application or working with a Missouri broker, you can choose to delay your retirement benefits. In normal circumstances, the longer you can wait, the better for your wallet. For every month before age 65 you take benefits, your monthly check will decrease for the rest of your life. Every month after age 65 that you can wait to take benefits, your check will increase. It’s a good idea to talk to a financial planner to help you know when the time is right for your circumstances. Jeremy Tyler is a financial planner in our Springfield, MO office who can assist.
Is it mandatory to sign up for Medicare when I turn 65 in Missouri?
Many people wonder if they have to sign up for Medicare when they turn 65. Part A is usually premium-free, which means you should sign up to take advantage of the coverage. If you don’t want to sign up, that’s okay. There are no penalties for not enrolling in Part A. Be sure to keep reading about Part B penalties.
When does my Medicare insurance coverage start?
Just click the month you will enroll into Medicare to find out when your coverage will begin.
Your Medicare coverage will start 1 month after enrollment.
Your Medicare coverage will start 2 months after enrollment.
Your Medicare coverage will start 3 months after enrollment.
Your Medicare coverage will start 3 months after enrollment.
*If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage will start the first day of the prior month.
Can I sign up for Social Security benefits without applying for Medicare in Missouri?
Sure. Just remember that there’s a penalty for every year you’re not covered by either group health insurance or Part B.
Do I have to sign up for Part B in Missouri?
You don’t have to sign up for Part B in Missouri since there is a cost. However, if you decide that you’d like to enroll in Part B at a later date, you’ll have to pay a penalty for every year you waited. The fee is equal to 10% of the premium for every year you opted out of Part B coverage. Think about how the penalty might affect you later compared to the money you’ll save at the moment. It’s time to get out your calculator!
What if I am still working or still have health insurance when I turn 65?
If you are working past age 65 and have group health insurance from a company with 20+ employees, you can sign up for Part A. It’s generally premium free, (if you’ve paid into Medicare taxes for 40 quarters) so it’s usually a good idea unless you want to contribute to an HSA.
If your employer has under 20 employees on a group plan, you need to sign up for Part B, which will become your primary insurance.
If you have insurance through a former employer, but are not working anymore, the regular rules apply to you. You need to sign up for Medicare!
There are lots of other rules and scenarios to think about when it comes to working past 65, so be sure to check out our Guide to Medicare and Working Past 65.
Can I sign up for Medicare online?
If you’re going through the process by yourself, you can use the online application tool on our website.
If you want help shopping for plans, but would rather do it online, you’re in luck! You can use this link to go to our partner’s website and complete everything online- including Part A, Part B, and Part D.
Check Missouri Medicare Enrollment off your to-do list
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Best of all? It takes 30 minutes to find the right plan for you, with your prescriptions and your doctors, right here in Southwest Missouri.