Summary: Like many things nowadays, you can apply for Medicare online from the comfort of your own home. Applying for Medicare online is an easy process that doesn’t take much time. Below, we’ll explain how to sign up for each part of Medicare from your computer. Estimated Read Time: 7 min
Applying For Medicare Online
If you’re looking to apply for Medicare online, you’re in luck. For several years, the Social Security Administration has accepted online Medicare applications. To apply for Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) online, you must visit SSA.gov. Original Medicare benefits do not vary by state or person. So, anyone who enrolls in Original Medicare coverage will receive the same benefits. Thus, the process of applying for Medicare online is straightforward.
Once you have applied for Original Medicare, you can also apply for a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan, or a Medicare Supplement plan online. However, you’ll need to follow a different process that does not include Social Security, as private insurance companies offer these plans.
This process often includes shopping around to find the best plan available in your area. You’ll want to look at premium costs, out-of-pocket maximums, formularies, and networks to determine the right plan for you.
How To Apply For Medicare Parts A And B Online
Applying for Original Medicare online is a simple process. The Social Security Administration website has an online portal where eligible individuals can sign up for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or both. To get started, you’ll need to create a personal my Social Security account if you don’t already have one.
Once you have a my Social Security account, the process of signing up for Medicare online takes roughly 10 to 30 minutes to complete. While applying, you’ll want to keep the following information handy:
- Place of birth (if outside the U.S., include your Permanent Resident Card number)
- Your current health insurance plan information (carrier, policy number, effective dates, etc.)
Once you complete the application, you can log back into your my Social Security account to check on your application’s status at any time. Depending on when you sign up for Medicare coverage, your application can take up to 90 days to be approved.
Benefits of applying for Original Medicare online:
- You can start your application whenever you’re ready.
- You can apply for benefits from the comfort of your own home.
- You do not have to complete your application in one sitting; if you need a break, your progress will be saved, and you can return and complete your application later.
- Using your my Social Security account, you can check on the status of your Medicare application.
Delaying Your Medicare Part B Coverage When Applying Online
If you still have health care coverage through an employer, you may wish to delay Medicare Part B benefits. Before you elect to delay Medicare Part B, you’ll want to ensure that Medicare considers your group coverage creditable.
Typically, If your employer has over 20 employees, then your coverage is considered creditable, and you can delay your Medicare Part B without incurring a penalty. We recommend speaking with your employer’s benefits coordinator to ensure your coverage is creditable before delaying your Medicare Part B coverage.
When signing up for Medicare online, you will need to provide information on your existing job-based health coverage and will have the option to delay your Medicare Part B coverage.
If you’re unsure whether the coverage you have now is credible, your local Social Security office can help you determine credibility. Remember, if you delay Medicare Part B without credible coverage, you’ll need to pay a penalty on top of your monthly premium once you enroll.
Apply For Medicare Part B Online During A Special Enrollment Period
If you delay your Medicare Part B enrollment due to credible coverage, you will receive a Special Enrollment Period when you lose coverage. During your Special Enrollment Period, you will have eight months from when you lose your coverage to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a late enrollment penalty.
To enroll in Medicare Part B online during your Special Enrollment Period, you will need to log into your My SSA account and choose the option to enroll in Medicare Part B. From there, you will complete the CMS-40B, and CMS-L564 forms online and upload evidence of your group health plan.
Suppose you lose credible coverage and do not enroll in Medicare Part B during the allotted amount of time. In that case, you must wait until the General Enrollment Period (January 1 – March 31) to enroll. If you miss your Special Enrollment Period, you could be subject to a late enrollment penalty.
How to Apply for a Medicare Advantage Plan Online
Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) are Medicare-approved health plans offered by private insurance companies. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, the plan’s carrier pays for your coverage instead of Medicare. To enroll in Medicare Advantage, you must have Medicare Part A and Part B before applying.
To enroll in Medicare Advantage online, you’ll need to have your effective date for Original Medicare ready, along with your Medicare number from your red, white, and blue card. There are multiple ways you can go about signing up for a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan online:
- You can use Medicare.gov to search and compare MA plans available in your zip code. You can select a plan and start your online application on Medicare’s website.
- Use our no-obligation online rates tool to find and compare Advantage plans in your area. Once you find a plan that meets your healthcare and budget needs, a licensed insurance agent can help you with enrolling.
- Sign up online on the plan carrier’s website. If you have already compared plans and found one you like, you can typically go to the carrier’s website and sign up directly with them.
When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, be sure to do so during a valid enrollment period. Your first opportunity to enroll in an MA plan will be during your Initial Enrollment Period.
How Do I Apply For Medicare Part D Online?
Since Original Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, you should consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan. Private insurance companies provide Medicare Part D plans so plans vary by carrier and location.
Shopping for Medicare Part D drug plans online is an easy way to find and compare plans and their formularies in your area. Formularies are the list of drugs that a drug plan covers. You’ll want to ensure your prescriptions, or a suitable alternative, are covered under the plan’s formulary before applying.
In many areas, an overwhelming amount of Medicare Part D plans are available, which can be intimidating to the average consumer. When searching for Part D coverage, many choose to work with a licensed agent who can walk them through the online process step by step.
When you apply for Part D coverage, you’ll need your Medicare card handy as the application requires your Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) listed on the card.
How to Get Help with Signing up for Medicare Plans Online
While signing up for Original Medicare online is an easy process, signing up for additional coverage can be a little more complicated. If you want to sign up for supplemental coverage, you must first ensure you meet the eligibility requirements. Then, you can begin finding and comparing plans online.
At ApplyForMedicare, our goal is to equip Medicare enrollees with all the knowledge possible to make the Medicare enrollment process easier. Our online rates tool makes finding and comparing plans simple and is free to use with no obligation to enroll in any of the plans you look at.
If you prefer to talk one-on-one with a licensed insurance agent, our knowledgeable team is ready to help answer any questions. Give us a call at the number above.
Sign Up for Medicare, Social Security. Accessed September 2023
How Do I Sign Up for Medicare?, Medicare.gov. Accessed September 2023
Apply Online for Medicare — Even if You Are Not Ready To Retire, Social Security. Accessed September 2023