How To Enroll in the Different Parts of Medicare
Once you are confirmed as the medical power of attorney for your loved one, you can help them enroll in Medicare healthcare coverage. If you are not the medical power of attorney, you can still be by your loved one’s side and offer advice while they enroll in their plan. Medicare consists of several parts, with each one covering specific healthcare services.
Medicare Part A
You’ll need to help your beneficiary manually apply for Medicare Part A when, or shortly before, they turn 65 years old – unless they’ve been receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits.
Medicare Part B
Typically, individuals enroll in Medicare Part B together with Part A, but in some cases, you may choose to delay Part B enrollment — for instance, if an individual is currently receiving group coverage through their employer.
Medicare Part C
Also known as the Medicare Advantage plan, Part C is only offered by private insurance companies, and your beneficiary must have Parts A and B to enroll.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is typically included in Medicare Advantage plans, but you are also able to purchase Part D separately through a Medicare Supplement Plan.
Is My Loved One Eligible For Medicare?The requirements for Medicare eligibility differ based on age. Here's a breakdown.
My Beneficiary is 65 Or Older
In this case, they are fully eligible for Medicare if they are a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident. If your loved one just turned 65, you should consider enrollment as soon as possible to prevent a lapse in coverage.
My Beneficiary is Under 65
To qualify for Medicare eligibility under the age of 65, your loved one must meet one of the following criteria:
They have been receiving Social Security Disability or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits for 24 months prior to the desired date of enrollment.
They have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
They have been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and have undergone dialysis or a kidney transplant.
They have been diagnosed with a neurocognitive disorder, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.
When Can I Help My Beneficiary Enroll in Medicare?Once they are eligible, you can help your loved one enroll in Medicare during one of the below enrollment periods.
For those new to Medicare, the IEP provides the first opportunity to enroll. It lasts for a period of 7 months and differs from person-to-person based on their birthday. Your loved one’s IEP occurs three months before the month of their 65th birthday, the month they turn 65, and the three months after the month of their 65th birthday.
The General Enrollment Period is open every year from January 1 to March 31. You can choose to enroll during the GEP if you miss the enrollment deadline during the AEP. However, the monthly premiums will be higher in this case.
The Annual Open Enrollment Period lasts from October 15 to December 7 of each year. During that time, you are free to make changes to your beneficiary’s Medicare plan, like enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan in addition to Original Medicare.
The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period only occurs once, unless a person meets certain qualifications. It begins the month they turn 65 and lasts for a period of 6 months. During that time, your beneficiary can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan — as long as they're already enrolled in Parts A and B.
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period lasts from January 1 to March 31 of each year. If your loved one is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan already, you can make changes to their coverage during this period.
Your loved one may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if they lose or need to alter their Medicare plan due to certain life events and circumstances, such as changes in employment status or residence. If coverage is lost, the typical period of eligibility lasts 60 days.