Knowing when to sign up for Medicare Part B and when not to is very fundamental in order to avoid penalties. Medicare Part B is a type of health insurance that covers outpatient medical services such as doctor visits, preventive care, and medical equipment.
In this piece, we explain when you should sign up for medicare part B and when you should not sign up. Learn more below:
When Can I Sign up for Medicare Part B?
If you are eligible for Medicare and are not already receiving Social Security benefits, you will need to sign up for Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the seven-month period that commences three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month.
Meanwhile, If you don’t enroll in Part B during your IEP, you may face a late enrollment penalty and have to pay higher premiums for as long as you have Part B coverage.
However, if you are still working and have employer-sponsored health insurance, you would be able to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B without penalty. To escape late enrollment penalties, you must enroll in Part B within eight months of losing your employer-sponsored health insurance or when you retire, whichever comes first.
It’s fundamental to consider your specific situation and healthcare needs before concluding to enroll in Medicare Part B. You can visit the Medicare website or watch the MedicareOnVideo section, explaining the best time to enroll in Medicare Part B.
What Are the Criteria for Enrolling in Medicare Part B?
The following are the major conditions or criteria that you must satisfy before enrolling in Medicare Part B:
- Age: You must be 65 years of age or older to enroll in Medicare Part B.
- U.S. Citizenship: You must be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years to be eligible for Medicare.
- Enrollment in Medicare Part A: To enroll in Medicare Part B, you must have enrolled in Medicare Part A, which is hospital insurance.
- Residency: You must be a resident of the United States or one of its territories to be eligible for Medicare.
- Not Having End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): In most cases, if you have end-stage renal disease, you are not eligible for Medicare Part B. However, there are some exceptions, such as if you have a successful kidney transplant or have been on dialysis for a certain period of time.
- Not Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits: If you are under 65 years of age and receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part B after you have been receiving disability benefits for 24 months.
More importantly, it should be noted that there are certain circumstances, such as losing employer-sponsored health insurance, that may permit you to enroll in Medicare Part B outside of the initial enrollment period without penalty.
What Are the Benefits of Enrolling in Medicare Part B?
Enrolling in Medicare Part B encompasses a couple of benefits such as:
- Coverage for medical services: Medicare Part B covers a variety of medical services, including doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive care, and medical equipment. This means that you’ll have access to a number of medical services that can help you stay healthy and manage any health conditions.
- Medical costs subsidy: Medicare Part B helps protect you from high medical costs. With Medicare Part B, you’ll only pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most services, while Medicare covers the remaining 80%.
- Maximum Access to preventive care: Medicare Part B covers a range of preventive care services, such as screenings for cancer, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. This helps you to stay healthy, and avoid severe health issues in the future.
- Flexibility to see any doctor: Medicare Part B permits you to see any doctor who accepts Medicare, which gives you more flexibility in choosing the medical providers you want to see.
- Coverage for medical emergencies: Medicare Part B also covers medical emergencies, such as ambulance services and crisis situations such as COVID-19 period with resultant effects on cryptocurrencies. This can provide peace of mind knowing that you’ll be covered in case of an emergency.
It is obvious that the Medicare Part B provides you with comprehensive health insurance coverage and protects you from high medical costs. It is thus important to take full advantage of the programme.
To learn more about the best time to enroll in Medicare Part B, watch the MedicareOnVideo series. You can also call us directly at 1-877-855-3484.