Steps for a Smooth Journey

Transitioning to Medicare

Forms & Downloads

Steps for Enrolling in Medicare

In Medicare, timing is important when it comes to avoiding common pitfalls and getting the best Medicare benefits for the best price.  We have provided following additional resources and tips to help you secure seamless coverage and avoid late fees and penalties.

1. Estimate Your Costs

Know your healthcare needs and financial picture

Original Medicare does not cover all your healthcare costs, but you have options with Medicare. Review your overall healthcare costs and needs, including regular health maintenance visits, specialists you see, prescription drug costs and any procedures you know you will need. This will help you understand your overall financial picture.

2. Can You Keep Your Doctors?

Ask all of your healthcare providers if they take Medicare

Check to see if your current healthcare providers accept Medicare. While most do, some doctors opt out of Medicare so they are not required to follow Medicare rules. In other words, you’ll want to make sure your doctor can’t tack on extra costs and you are getting the lowest cost for your services.

3. Learn the Basics

Get Acquainted with Medicare

Before you select what type of Medicare coverage is best for you, take time to understand all the different parts of Medicare. Selecting the wrong coverage, or missing a deadline, means you could later be faced with excessive medical costs, and even fines and penalties that can take a chunk out of your life’s savings. Our website offers several educational resources to help learn more about Medicare.  Click here to learn more about (including descriptions and videos) on Medicare Parts Parts A (Hospital Coverage), B (Medical Coverage), C (Medicare Advantage) and D (Prescription Drugs), as well as charts on Medicare Supplements, and more. Also please contact us for FREE personal guidance.

4. Get Expert Advice

Contact Our Experienced Medicare Broker, Rhondi Nachlis

Let us do the leg work for you!  We ask the right questions to understand your overall healthcare needs and costs, including copays, premiums, prescription drug costs and more.  With a good idea of your financial picture, we can recommend the best options for your unique needs. We also continue to be resource for you annually, to help you with changes that may take place with your current coverage and to evaluate new options that may be a better fit for your needs.  Give us a call or fill out the form below to request an appointment.  Our guidance is provided at no cost and no obligation!  

5. Medicare is not Automatic

You Need to Enroll in Original Medicare to Avoid Penalties and Excessive Costs

For most people Medicare is not automatic, and you will need to enroll in original Medicare. Part A (hospital coverage) may be in place however when you turn 65, but you will need to enroll in Part B (medical coverage) to start receiving those benefits and before you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage or Supplement plan. Note that if you delay signing up for Part B, you could be charged 10% more (for life) on your Part B premium than someone who first signed up when eligible. The penalty is 10% for every year you delayed. Also, it is extremely important to note that, while Part D (prescription drugs) is optional, if you do not enroll when you first turn 65, you may later face fines and excessive costs down the road.

6. Enrolling in Medicare

When, Where and How You Can Enroll

When: Most people will have an Initial Enrollment Period which is a 7-month period around the time they turn age 65. This period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.
How: To enroll, you need to provide proof of your eligibility. Some acceptable documents are birth certificate, proof citizenship if not born in the US, W-2 or tax forms, and or military records.
Where: Follow this link to apply online. You can enroll, create your Medicare account, track your Medicare information such as bills, claims, health information and more, as well as print your Medicare card. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 to apply by phone or visit your local social security office (usually by appointment only).

7. Your spouse must enroll separately for Medicare

Medicare Is An Individual Plan

Medicare does not have spousal or dependent coverage. Medicare is individual. If your spouse has reached age eligibility (65), then they can enroll in Medicare of their own accord 90 days in advance of the month they turn 65.

8. Working Beyond 65

If you continue to work past Medicare enrollment age

If you are still receiving work benefits, you still have the option of enrolling in Medicare Part A during your initial enrollment age, if you decide it is wise for your specific healthcare needs. Remember, for most people the Part A premium is free. Also, keep in mind that Medicare is not automatic (as discussed above) so you will need to enroll yourself when your enrollment period begins. It’s important to note that you can only delay enrolling in Part B and Part D without incurring late enrollment penalties if you have creditable coverage from your employer, or your spouses employer. Creditable coverage requires that If the employer group has 20 eligible employees or more, then you may be able stay on that plan. There are many things to consider and you should talk to a professional to make sure you are making the right moves.

Rhondi Nachlis
Licensed Medicare Broker

Let Me Help You Navigate Medicare and Your Financial Future

Let Me Help You Navigate Medicare and Your Financial Future

With years of experience navigating the Medicare system, I can help you make the best decisions for your healthcare when transitioning to Medicare, and/or planning retirement.  Selecting the right plan(s) for your healthcare needs will keep you healthy and living your best life, while protecting your financial wellness.

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Important Disclaimer: 

I/We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information I/we provide is limited to the plans I/we do offer in your area. Please contact or 1-800-Medicare to get information on all of your options.  Nachlis Insurance Agency and Rhondi Nachlis are not part of the Federal Government Medicare System. The content in on this page has not been reviewed or approved by Medicare.