How to Apply for Medicare in Pennsylvania
It is important to sign up for Medicare in Pennsylvania as soon as you are eligible for care. In some cases, the Medicare application process may start automatically and it is not necessary to enroll on your own. When you sign up, you will need to make a few decisions about what type of coverage you want. Medicare is made up of Parts A, B, C and D. While you may be enrolled in Parts A and B without taking any action, you will not be registered to receive benefits from Part C or D automatically. Knowing when to apply for Medicare in PA is just as important as finding out how to sign up. Note that there are a variety of enrollment periods, and missing one could result in fines and a delay in receiving coverage. Find out how to apply for Medicare online and how to enroll using other convenient methods.
Steps to Take Before Signing up for Medicare in Pennsylvania
Before submitting a Medicare health insurance application in Pennsylvania, it is important to decide which parts of Medicare you want. When you register for Medicare coverage, you have the option of picking the parts that apply to your individual health care needs. Most people decide to get Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) together. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage or Medigap, is another option. You may enroll in Medicare Part D if you want prescription drug coverage. All of these plans provide different types of benefits that can be used together in order to have a more comprehensive health insurance plan. Learn more about how these parts can be combined by downloading our detailed guide on health care.
Medicare applications in Pennsylvania require that you provide a variety of information about yourself. When applying for Medicare, be prepared to enter the following information:
- Your name, gender and date of birth
- Your Social Security Number
- Information on any existing health insurance you have
- Details about your employment
When is Medicare enrollment automatic in Pennsylvania?
A Pennsylvania Medicare enrollment application may not need to be submitted in certain situations. Instead of registering for Medicare, some applicants will be enrolled automatically once they meet the Medicare eligibility criteria. Residents generally do not need to submit Medicare applications in PA under the following circumstances:
- The applicant has received Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits for at least four months before turning 65 years of age.
- The petitioner is disabled and has been receiving Social Security or RRB benefits for at least 24 months.
- The applicant has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has received his or her first disability benefits.
When enrollment in Medicare is not started automatically, it is a resident's responsibility to submit an application. Without applying for Medicare in Pennsylvania, benefits may not begin even if an applicant is eligible to receive them. An application can be submitted online, in person or over the phone.
What is a Pennsylvania Medicare enrollment period?
If you are wondering how to enroll in Medicare in Pennsylvania, then you should note that there are only certain times that you are eligible to sign up. Registering for Medicare cannot be completed outside of designated enrollment periods. There are four main periods to be aware of. First, the initial enrollment period for Medicare takes place around the time you meet the age qualification. You may register in the three months before your birthday, in your birthday month or the three months following your birthday. For example, you can sign up for Medicare in PA anytime between January and July if you were born in April.
Second, it is possible to submit Medicare applications during a special enrollment period. A special Medicare enrollment period takes place right after your initial enrollment opportunity ends. Note that you must meet certain criteria to qualify for special Medicare enrollment. Third, Medicare has a general enrollment period. General enrollment for Medicare takes place from January to March each year. Lastly, you can enroll during annual Medicare enrollment, also known as open enrollment, which occurs October to December. Note that you may be penalized if you do not sign up for Medicare by certain deadlines.
Learn more about your opportunities for enrollment and find out which options you should use by downloading our comprehensive health care guide.
Changing Coverage When Enrolling in Medicare in Pennsylvania
After you sign up for Medicare in Pennsylvania, you need to wait for an enrollment period before you can make changes to your plan. If you registered during your initial Medicare enrollment period, then you usually can only change your benefits during open enrollment. This rule also applies if you are disenrolled from your Medicare plan for any reason. If you lose Medicare coverage because you failed to make a payment, then you may be required to pay the balance due to re-enroll in a plan during the next open period. Under certain circumstances, you can apply for Medicare in Pennsylvania during a special enrollment period if you need to make changes or get coverage before the next open enrollment opportunity.