Each year, the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) runs from October 15th through December 7th.  This is a special time frame when Medicare beneficiaries have the option to make changes to certain types of Medicare health insurance plans.  Any changes made during AEP will take effect January 1st of the upcoming year (January 1st, 2020 in this case).

 

Insurance carriers are required to provide a detailed update each year by September 30th regarding your existing Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D Prescription Drug Plan.  This notice is called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC).  Since these Medicare insurance plans run on a calendar year basis, there are usually some sort of changes in plan benefits and features from year-to-year.  This is exactly why the Medicare AEP exists. It provides you with the “option” to change your plan, if it’s beneficial.

 

Here are some of the scenarios that can take place during AEP:

 

Take No Action

If you’re happy with your plan and wish to accept the new plan provisions for next year, no action is required.  Your plan will automatically be renewed as of January 1st.

 

Change your Part D Prescription Drug Plan

If you feel your stand-alone Part D prescription drug coverage is no longer suitable for you, a plan change may be appropriate.  Your current Part D plan might no longer cover your particular list of prescriptions as well as before (i.e. formulary changes)…OR…you may have several new prescriptions causing you to question whether you’re still in the right plan…OR…the plan premium is increasing more than you’d like.  Regardless, you can switch to another Part D drug plan during AEP — with your current insurance carrier, or another carrier. 

 

Change your Medicare Advantage Plan

If you feel your Medicare Advantage plan coverage is no longer suitable for you, a plan change may be appropriate.  Since many Medicare Advantage plans include both medical and drug coverage, you might consider a plan switch during AEP if the medical and/or drug coverage changes to your detriment.  It could be a drug formulary change, or even one or more of your medical providers are no longer in-network. Additionally, the medical benefits can be impacted each year. For example, certain medical services may have increased copayments, or the plan’s medical maximum out-of-pocket limit may increase to a level that is out of your comfort zone.  And of course, a plan premium increase can affect the affordability of the plan.

 

Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage 

When you have Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan (Medigap), you use Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical/outpatient) as your primary coverage…and then your Medigap plan as your supplemental plan for medical services.  And you usually will also have a stand-alone Part D drug plan, unless you have creditable prescription drug coverage from another source (i.e. VA benefits). What if you aren’t happy with your plan coverage, pricing, or have other issues with the plan?

You can switch entirely from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage during AEP.  If you switch to a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D coverage in this scenario, you will automatically be disenrolled from your existing stand-alone Part D drug plan with a January 1st effective date.  However, you will still need to request cancellation of your existing Medigap plan as of January 1st. NOTE: You cannot switch to a Medicare Advantage plan if you have end stage kidney failure (ESRD).

 

Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare

In this reverse scenario, you would first need to see if you can be approved medically for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan.  In this situation, insurance carriers are often allowed to ask you health history questions, and could deny you from purchasing the plan.  If you get the approval for a January 1st start date, then you know you can enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan during AEP (do so no later than December 7th).  Everything will start January 1st, and your existing Medicare Advantage plan will automatically be cancelled, due to the stand-alone Part D plan enrollment.

 

We have a complete summary of the Parts of Medicare on our website. Click here to learn more or contact us for direct support.

 

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov

Joining a Health or Drug Plan 

Annual Notice of Change (ANOC)

 

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

If you delayed Medicare enrollment because it was advantageous to stay on a group health plan, you can use your Special Enrollment Period option to enroll.

Your next steps are dependent on whether you initially enrolled in premium-free Medicare Part A during your IEP. 

Here’s how to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B after your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) ends:

Click the video link or keep reading for step-by-step support.

If you already have Part A and just need to add Part B:

You will need to complete two paper forms and turn them in to a local Social Security office:

Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) [Form CMS-40B]

Complete pages 1 through 8. Don’t forget to indicate the Part B effective date on Page 12.  It must be within the next 90 days, and it must be the 1st of the month. For example, ”I would like my Part B to begin on July 1st, 2019.”

Request for Employment Information [Form CMS-L564]

Your employer will complete this form, specifically Section A pages 1-7 and Section B pages 1-5, complete with a signature at the bottom of each page. Contact your Human Resources department. 

Once both of these are completed, they must be turned in to a local Social Security office.  Here are the next steps and a few tips:

In-Person Visit:

You do not need to, nor can you, schedule an appointment at a local Social Security office just to turn in Part B enrollment forms.  You will have to be a “walk-in”.  

One way to get around this is if you also plan to enroll in Social Security retirement benefits at the same time.  In that case, you are able to schedule an in-person appointment to do both the Social Security retirement and Medicare Part B enrollments.

Turn in the forms 30-60 days prior to your requested start date.  

Avoid leaving the paperwork in the Social Security office’s drop box.  In many cases, paperwork left in them are lost.

Mail the Paperwork:

You can mail the two forms to your local Social Security office. 

If you go this route, make copies for your records and mail via USPS Priority Mail.  It will cost $6-7 to do this, but you will have a tracking number and the option to require a signature on delivery.  That way, you know when the paperwork is received. 

If you need to enroll in both Part A and Part B...

In this situation, you need to first enroll in Medicare Part A & Part B online at www.socialsecurity.gov. For a complete, step-by-step guide to online enrollment, click the links below for our extended and abridged tutorials: 

How to Enroll in Medicare Online in Less Than 10 Minutes (Detailed Version) [9 min, 13 sec]
How to Enroll in Medicare Online in Less Than 10 Minutes (Short Version) [6 min, 18 sec]


Please note: be sure to add a note in the Remarks/Comments section, specifying when you want your Part B to begin.  

Once you complete the online enrollment process, you will be contacted by phone or US mail by a representative from Social Security. 

This person will be in charge of processing your enrollment, so don’t screen the call. The Social Security representative will inform you that you need to turn in the same two forms as referenced earlier.  Then, you will need to provide them with the completed Part B enrollment forms:

– Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) [Form CMS-40B]

– Request for Employment Information [Form CMS-L564]

Usually, the Social Security representative will offer the option of mailing the forms directly to him or her to avoid a trip to a local Social Security office.

One final note on this scenario:  Your Part A benefits will be back-dated up to 6 months from the month you submitted the enrollment.  Your Part B will start on the date you requested, but your Part A will be a different date in the past.

And there you have it…instructions to enroll in Medicare after age 65!  

Thankfully, you don’t have to do this on your own.  At Medicare Mindset, we help our clients with this transition every day.  We can guide you from start to finish. Contact Us to get started.

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov

Medicare Enrollment Periods

Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) [Form CMS-40B]

Request for Employment Information [Form CMS-L564]

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, there’s a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).  Your IEP spans the three months before your birthday month, throughout your birthday month, and the three months after your birthday month.  But what if you don’t plan to enroll in Medicare at age 65 and want to stay on a group health plan? Well, you can do this…and WITHOUT penalty!

Keep reading or click the video link below to learn more.

Visit our YouTube Channel

Here are 4 reasons why you should consider delaying Medicare enrollment:

— You have group health coverage from an employer that has 20+ employees.  In this case, the group health plan continues to be primary coverage, so you don’t need to enroll in Medicare Part B (medical/outpatient).  You can enroll in Part A (hospital) without issue, as long as you’re not contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

— You have group health coverage from your employer that has 20+ employees…AND…your younger spouse (not yet eligible for Medicare) is also covered on the plan as a dependent.

— Your income is high, which would cause your Medicare Part B (and Part D IRMAA) premiums to increase.  Depending on your group plan premiums, this could make the Medicare route more expensive. The standard Part B premium in 2019 is $135.50/mo…but it can get as high as $460.60/mo at the top income tiers.

— Lastly, you may determine your existing group health coverage has a very strong design and/or it would simply cost more to go on Medicare.

You’re probably thinking…”Isn’t there a penalty to delay Medicare enrollment?”  In a vacuum, this is true…but if your employer has 20+ employees and you’re covered in the group health plan (based on your employment or a spouse’s), you can delay enrollment in Part A and/or Part B without penalty.  And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! In this case, you will use your Special Enrollment Period option to enroll.

Contact Us if you need help deciding what to do.

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov

Medicare Enrollment Periods

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

Transitioning to Medicare is incredibly time-sensitive and often misunderstood. So today, we’re breaking down the most common Medicare misconceptions we see on a regular basis, so you can enroll easily and avoid mistakes. 

Misconception #1

To avoid a lifetime penalty, I have to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) when I turn 65.

This depends on whether you plan to continue to be covered by employer provided group health insurance when you turn 65.

Large Employer (20 or more employees, or over 100 if on Medicare prior to age 65 due to disability) 

If you or your spouse’s employer is considered “large,” you can delay enrolling in Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) and choose your Medicare coverage start date in the future. If you take this route, the group health plan will be primary, so Medicare Part A and B are not necessary.  If you do have Part A and/or B, it will be secondary to the group health plan, and you may be paying the Part B monthly premium with very little benefit to you. Enrolling in premium-free Part A is fine, as long as you aren’t contributing to a Health Savings Account [see Misconception #3].

Note: If you delay enrollment in Part A and/or B to a future date, you won’t be penalized, as long as you have continuous health coverage through the group health plan. COBRA and retiree health plans are NOT considered coverage based on current employment.  

Small Employer (20 or less employees, or less than 100 if on Medicare prior to age 65 due to disability) 

If you or your spouse’s employer is considered “small,” you will need to enroll in Part A and B.  This is necessary because Medicare is primary in this situation.  

In many cases, your group health plan will act as though you have enrolled in Part A and B, and pay less on medical claims, regardless of whether or not you actually enrolled in Part A and B.  In these small group situations, you will need Part A and B in effect.

The bigger question is really whether you should stay in the group health plan as a secondary payer.  It may make sense to transition entirely to Medicare with supplemental medical and drug coverage, and leave the group plan.

If you don’t have access to an employer provided group health insurance plan (or some other creditable health coverage) when you turn 65, you will need to enroll in Medicare Part A and B, and obtain the necessary supplemental medical and drug coverage.

Misconception #2

I have drug coverage through my employer group health plan, so I don’t need to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan.

If you transition to Medicare after your Initial Enrollment Period because you are in a group health plan, you may incur a Part D late enrollment penalty.  This depends on whether your existing health coverage has creditable prescription drug coverage.  

Most Medicare beneficiaries think their drug coverage in an existing plan is enough. But simply having drug coverage isn’t the issue.  Creditable prescription drug coverage means that it meets or exceeds Medicare Part D minimum coverage standards. Some health plans do not meet these standards and have non-creditable prescription drug coverage.  If you are in a group health plan with non-creditable prescription drug benefits and are beyond your Initial Enrollment Period in Medicare, you will begin to accumulate a Part D late enrollment penalty. 

The Part D late enrollment penalty is assessed and charged only when you actually enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan with Part D benefits.  The penalty is based on the number of months you are late enrolling.  

Here is an example of a late enrollment penalty assessed in 2019 for a beneficiary enrolling in a Part D plan 10 months late…

..2019 Part D National Base Premium = $33.19/mo

..1% of $33.19 = $0.3319

..Multiply $0.3319 by the number of months you are late enrolling ($0.3319 X 10)

..2019 Part D penalty = $3.32/mo  → rounded to the nearest ten cents  → $3.30/mo

This penalty is assessed monthly, for life. Keep in mind, as the Part D National Base Premium fluctuates, so will your Part D penalty.

Note: Some Medicare beneficiaries knowingly accumulate a Part D late enrollment penalty and avoid enrollment in a Part D Plan at age 65.  This is only recommended for those who wish to continue contributing to a health savings account (HSA) in their group health plan, which leads us to Medicare Misconception #3.

Misconception #3

I have to stop contributing to my Health Savings Account (HSA) when I turn 65.

This is simply not true.  Continuing to contribute to an HSA account beyond age 65 can be a great strategy for someone working beyond age 65 and staying in a group health plan. This typically will only be a good strategy IF the Medicare-eligible employee has “creditable” prescription drug benefits in his/her group health plan, is not receiving Social Security retirement benefits, and is in a large employer plan…as we discussed in Misconception #1.  Keep in mind, you must cease HSA contributions if you enroll in any portion of Medicare.  

As referenced at the end of Misconception #2, some beneficiaries knowingly accumulate a Part D late enrollment penalty in order to load up their HSA accounts while they can.  This really should be a short-term solution because the longer you do this, the larger the Part D penalty will be when you do eventually enroll in a Part D plan.  Typically, beneficiaries utilize this strategy when they know they will retire and/or lose group health coverage in a few years or less (usually 2 years or less). Otherwise, the penalty gets larger, and the strategy might not make sense.

Note: HSA account balances can be used for qualified medical expenses while in a group health plan, and also once enrolled in Medicare.  Reference IRS Publication 502 for the list of approved medical expenses.

Misconception #4

I am already 65 but have COBRA health coverage.  When my COBRA coverage ends, I can enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B at that time.

This is not true.  If you didn’t enroll in Part A and/or Part B within 8 months of the end of your employment, you cannot enroll in Part A and/or Part B whenever you want.  Outside of this 8-month time frame, COBRA coverage is NOT a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) opportunity for Medicare.  Instead, you will need to enroll in Part A and/or Part B during Medicare’s General Enrollment Period (GEP), which spans from January 1st through March 31st each year.  Your Medicare coverage date will be delayed to July 1st of that year.  Depending on the timing of everything, this may create a late enrollment penalty in Part A and/or Part B, which will increase your Medicare premiums for life.

An additional issue here is that Medicare is primary to COBRA health coverage.  This means that if you don’t have Part A and B while on COBRA, your medical coverage may come up short because your COBRA health plan will pay claims as if you have Medicare Part A and B, leading to additional out-of-pocket expenses.


What assumptions do you have about Medicare enrollment? Are they accurate? We’re here to help you understand Medicare, from enrollment to expenses. Contact us today for one on one support. 

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov

Part D Late Enrollment Penalty

Medicare Enrollment Periods

COBRA Coverage

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

As we age, the likelihood of some level of hearing loss increases. Hearing aids are a natural solution to improve the situation.  But does Medicare help pay for hearing exams and hearing aids? Well, not Original Medicare. Original Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids or exams for fitting hearing aids.  However, if you have an all-in-one Medicare Advantage plan, you could get some help.  

Some Medicare Advantage plans include extra benefits for hearing services, such as:

-A no-cost hearing exam

-Hearing aid discounts

-Annual allowances to purchase hearing aids

This could mean huge savings for Medicare beneficiaries with hearing loss.  We are seeing more and more competition in the Medicare Advantage marketplace for hearing services.  This is a positive development for Medicare beneficiaries, as they previously were required to pay up to $6,000-7,000 for a good pair of hearing aids on a cash-basis.  Now, their Medicare Advantage plan might pick up a significant chunk of the cost, or potentially all of it, depending on what you need.

So, what are some other options to buy hearing aids at a lower cost if you don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan and instead chose Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan?

In this case, you’ll have to be more resourceful.  Some warehouse membership stores offer hearing aids at a significant discount.  And for many Medicare beneficiaries with hearing loss, the hearing aids offered there could be perfectly sufficient.  Some of these stores even offer product demos, hearing tests, follow-up appointments, cleanings, and check-ups at no cost. Additionally, there are hearing solution stores that have lower-priced hearing aids than the competition.  Again, it’s a matter of shopping around and getting recommendations from others.

At Medicare Mindset, we can offer our professional opinion and connect you with a few different outlets. We won’t let you pay over $6,000 when other more affordable options are available to you.

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov

Medicare & Hearing Aids

Medicare Advantage plans

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

I get this question often, “What’s the best way for me to pay for my Medicare Premiums?”

There are a few ways to pay for your Medicare Premiums, or your Part B and potentially Part D IRMAA premiums, depending on whether or not you’re receiving Social Security retirement benefits:

If you are receiving Social Security retirement benefits,

You’ll have an automatic deduction from your Social Security retirement benefits.

If you are NOT receiving Social Security retirement benefits,

You’ll receive a quarterly bill from Medicare and will need to choose from one of the following:

-Write a check

You can write a check for the balance due (payable to CMS Medicare Insurance), and mail it directly to the Medicare Premium Collection Center (P.O. Box 790355, St. Louis, MO 63197).

-Credit card or debit card payment

On the premium invoice, you have an option to enter your credit or debit card information. Be sure to add your signature to authorize the payment. Then mail the invoice to the Medicare Premium Collection Center at the address listed above.

-Pay through your bank’s online bill pay system

Just like any other bill you pay through your bank’s website, you can simply add CMS Medicare Insurance as an online bill payment. Use your Medicare Claim # as the account number. Your Medicare Claim # is listed on your Medicare card, as well as on the billing invoice.

-Medicare Easy Pay

This is a commonly underutilized option that automates monthly payments, rather than paying each quarter.  You will need to complete and return the Authorization for Pre-Authorized Payments form (SF-5510) to the Medicare Premium Collection Center (P.O. Box 979098, St. Louis, MO 63197).  ← NOTE: This is a different P.O. Box than the one for mailing premium payments.

It can take Medicare up to 6-8 weeks to process the paperwork. This means that by the time Medicare starts deducting your Medicare premiums, it could be 2 or 3 months’ worth to get caught up. After that, you’ll see monthly drafts out of your bank account, typically around the 20th of each month. To play it safe, you might want to consider paying the first quarterly invoice in full by one of the methods above while your Easy Pay paperwork is processing.

Note: Two Ways You CANNOT Pay Medicare Premiums, regardless of whether or not you’re receiving Social Security retirement benefits…

With cash or by phone.

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov
Medicare Easy Pay
Medicare Part B
IRMAA (Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) Premiums

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

Yes, some drugs are covered under Medicare Part B (medical/outpatient), but it’s only for certain prescriptions in limited situations.  This is not an exhaustive list, but we will hit some of the common situations in this post. Full details can be accessed at this link.

Typically, prescription drugs covered under Part B would be drugs given to you by a medical professional in an outpatient office setting, not including drug samples. So, keep in mind that if a medication is given to you via a piece of durable medical equipment (DME), such as a pump or nebulizer, it might be covered under Part B.

A perfect example of this is insulin administered through an insulin pump.  You would normally take this medication in the convenience of your own home.  The fact that it’s administered via the pump…the insulin, pump, blood sugar test strips, and blood sugar glucose monitors are all covered under Part B.  

Check out our previous post on Medicare Coverage for Diabetics for more information.

Some Medicare beneficiaries need routine drug injections or infusions in a doctor’s office.  If these injections or infusions are medically-necessary and a Medicare-covered service, they likely run through Part B.

If you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD or kidney failure), there can be significant medical and drug costs associated with your care.  This is especially true after a kidney transplant as you may need to take transplant/immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of your life. Some of these immunosuppressive drugs are covered under Part B while others are covered under Part D.  This can be challenging when trying to determine your expected out-of-pocket costs when in this situation. Work with Medicare or your Part D Prescription Drug Plan to verify which immunosuppressive drugs are covered under Part B and Part D.

And don’t forget about vaccinations!  There are some vaccinations provided by Medicare Part B at no cost to you (Flu, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcal).  

Keep in mind: The Shingles vaccination is NOT covered by Part B, rather it’s a drug covered by your Part D Prescription Drug Plan, and will require a copayment.

If you need a drug not covered by Medicare Part B, don’t worry.  Check your Part D Prescription Drug Plan (or Medicare Advantage Plan that includes Part D) to see if it’s on the plan’s formulary list of prescriptions.

As you can see, the answer to “Are all prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B?” isn’t simple.  But Medicare Mindset is here to help. Contact us to learn more.

Reference Links

www.medicare.gov

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Outpatient)

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

Did you know you can enroll in Medicare Part A & Part B on your spouse’s work record?  If you’re surprised, you’re not alone. Many are surprised this is even an option. So, why exactly would you want to enroll under your spouse’s work record?  Keep reading or watch our YouTube video at the end of this post.

If you don’t have at least 40 quarters (about 10 years of work) paid into the Medicare system, you aren’t eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A. That means Part A might cost you as much as $437/mo in 2019 when you have limited or no work history.

However, you can enroll in premium-free Part A under your spouse’s work history, if he or she has the necessary 40 quarters of Medicare earnings required AND is at least age 62.  

NOTE: Your spouse does NOT have to be receiving Social Security retirement benefits for this to work.

Let’s break down how you can do this during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and your Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

INITIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (IEP)

As a quick reminder, here is a summary of your IEP:

There are 2 ways to enroll in Medicare on your spouse’s work record:

Option 1: Enroll In-Person at a Social Security Office (preferred method)

  • If you’re able, schedule an appointment at your local Social Security office.  If you walk-in, you might have to wait awhile. If you have an appointment, you can guarantee that you’ll be seen that day.  If you don’t have an appointment, be sure to avoid Mondays and Fridays.
  • It’s a good idea for both you and your spouse to go there together.  On your own, you’ll have to show proof of your marriage with your marriage certificate.
  • Complete Form CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B) ahead of time so you have it ready for the Social Security representative.

Option 2: Enroll By Phone

  • If you can’t get to a Social Security office, you can schedule a phone appointment with Social Security.
  • Your spouse will need to be available for the call, as the Social Security phone representative will verify his or her identity and your marriage.
  • After the phone call, Social Security will mail you two things to finalize the enrollment, one of which requires your action:
    • A summary of the answers you provided during the phone application
    • A form for your spouse to sign and return to Social Security, which validates your marriage and gives approval for the Medicare enrollment on his or her work record.

Now what if you need to enroll but are older than 65 (after your Initial Enrollment Period)?  The process is slightly different, as you will utilize the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) rules.

SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (SEP)

A SEP is when you are beyond your 7-month IEP.  In this situation, an in-person visit to a local Social Security office is the only route we recommend.  This is because there is one additional form required to make this happen. We prefer you simply hand those forms to a real person, rather than handling everything through the mail, especially if you need coverage to start the very next month.

Simply follow the instructions in Option 1 from above and complete Form CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information).  This form needs to be completed by a human resources representative from the employer you have health insurance coverage with.  It will verify that you’ve been covered in an employer group health plan since age 65 and help you avoid a late enrollment penalty.

Enrolling in Medicare is simple, even when you use a spouse’s work record. Now, you have the information needed to make your Medicare enrollment an easy process! But, if you have any specific questions and would like to speak to someone directly, contact us today.

Reference Links

Form CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Part B)

Form CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information)

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

As we mentioned in our Top 10 Preventive Care Practices post, preventive care is one of the most important things you can do to manage your health.

 Thankfully, Medicare provides a multitude of preventive screenings under Part B with no cost-share or co-payment.  

A few examples include…

  • Annual wellness visit
  • Mammogram
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Flu vaccine
  • Diabetes screening and self-management training
  • Prostate cancer screening

There are many more preventive coverage categories, so be sure to check out the complete list with all the details HERE.

IMPORTANT NOTES:  

  • Not all preventive screenings are covered by Part B every year.  Some of the Medicare preventive categories have a 2-year, 5-year, or even 10-year coverage interval.
  • If you are enrolled in an all-in-one Medicare Advantage plan, the same preventive services are available.

Reference Links

Medicare Part B Preventive & Screening Services

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.

Yes, it really does take just a few minutes to sign up for Medicare online. How? Click the video link at the end of this post for a step-by-step guide or keep reading for the cliff notes.

When you’re initially eligible for Medicare, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or www.medicare.gov. You will have the option to enroll in both Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare benefits, or stick with a “Medicare Only” application to delay Social Security retirement benefits.

Once online, you’ll create your very own “My Social Security” account, which will require you to answer important identifying questions. When you are ready to begin the “Medicare Only” application, you can apply for benefits by clicking “Start a New Application”. There, you’ll enter some general information about yourself. After you answer those few questions, you’ll have the option of enrolling in Part B in addition to the automatically assumed Part A enrollment. Of course, you’ll have a “Re-Entry Number” available if you’d like to come back to the application at a later date. Just be sure to save that number.

Click the “Download” button below for a printable preview of what you can expect before you begin your enrollment.

Once the application is complete, you can check the status of your enrollment anytime on your “My Social Security” account. Simply click the “Get a Benefit Verification Letter” link to see if your Medicare enrollment has been completed or if an application for benefits is still processing. If a Part A and/or Part B start date and Medicare Claim # is visible, your Medicare card is on its way. Generally speaking, you can expect your Medicare card to arrive by mail within 4 weeks.

Did you find this post helpful? Share a comment on our video to let us know! If you have additional questions, contact us today.

Reference Links

www.socialsecurity.gov

www.medicare.gov

Medicare Only Application

What is a My Social Security Account

Create a My Social Security Account

Neither Medicare Mindset LLC nor its agents are connected with the Federal Medicare program.