If you came here for a comprehensive account of Medicare and its rules, regulations and requirements, you’ve come to the wrong place. You can find our 3,000 word manifesto on that topic here. Here we are going to be a bit more brief- less than 600 words. This post details EXACTLY what you need to do to transition from individual insurance to Medicare, start to finish, complete with links to all the documentation you’ll need.
Step 1: Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B
You can do this online at Medicare.gov, by phone, or at your local social services office, but online will be much faster and more convenient.
Call 1-800-772-1213 if you would prefer to enroll over the phone
Make sure to enroll in both Part A and Part B. These can only be obtained from the government- no private plan can sell these 2 backbones of Medicare to you.
Step 2: Gather your Drug List
Your personal health history and the usage of your health plan is going to go a long way in dictating which health plan beyond Parts A and B will be most beneficial to you. Your list of current medications and dosages is necessary to match you to the plan that pays for your specific drugs the best. One plan may be “better” for most people, but if it doesn’t cover the drugs you are on then it’s not “better” for you, specifically. Write down a list of drugs and dosages or simply take a photo with your phone of each of your bottles, if that’s easier.
Step 3: Advantage vs. Supplement
You can read all about the specific differences between them here, but now’s the time to pick between Advantage and Supplement. You can research the local Advantage plans in your area here and you can get personalized quotes for Supplement plans here. Make sure the “65+” box is checked so you get the right quote.
Don’t want to research this on your own? We’ll do it for you. Email us or call us at 800-783-0802
Step 3: Do you need an RX plan?
You don’t need one, but if you don’t sign up when first eligible you’ll pay a penalty. One exception- some Medicare Advantage plans have an RX plan rolled in already. If you chose one of these, called a MAPD plan, you’re all set. If you chose Supplement, you’ll need to find a PDP plan here.
Step 4: Fill Out Applications
Each company has their own proprietary application, but you can find most Medicare Supplement applications here. Just pick your state, choose “Medigap” and then choose your carrier. Advantage plans are a bit trickier- because they’re regionally based you’ll have to get the application either directly from the carrier or by calling us at 800-783-0802 or request a form by email.
Step 5: You’re Insured!
Assuming you’ve completed everything correctly (or used Quotebroker to enroll and we’ve underwritten everything for you) your coverage will begin on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. You’ll receive confirmation from the carrier, our office, or both with your ID number(s) and confirmation of your start date. Make sure to contact your current insurance plan to cancel your old coverage so you don’t get double billed!
As always, if at any point you need help enrolling or just to double check that you’re doing things correctly, please reach out by phone at 800-783-0802 or by email. We’ll talk you through it as much (or as little!) as you’d like.