When you become age-eligible for Medicare, you will be offered a one-time special enrollment period, which includes the three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday and the three months following your 65th birthday. You can enroll in Medicare at any point after you become age-eligible, but you may incur a lifetime premium penalty if you do not complete your enrollment during your special enrollment period. The longer you wait to enroll in Medicare after you become eligible, the higher your lifetime premiums will be.
To enroll in Medicare, you must have met the basic eligibility criteria. You must be age 65 or older, a US citizen or qualified non-resident and you must have worked for at least 10 years in a position where Social Security taxes were collected/paid on your behalf. You also qualify for Social Security benefits if your spouse worked for 10 years and accumulated enough work credits to qualify for Social Security benefits, as long as you meet the other program requirements.
You may apply for Medicare benefits in person at your local Social Security office, or you may apply for benefits online, if you have access to a computer and the Internet. The online application form takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. You will need your date of birth and Social Security number; banking information; income and employment information for the most recent tax year; income estimates for the upcoming year; military service dates; the names and birthdates (or ages) of your current and/or former spouse(s); and your most recent Social Security statement. The Social Security statement is mailed to you annually in the months preceding your birthday.
The Social Security Administration may also ask you to provide documentation, such as your birth certificate; naturalization papers; military service records, and current/recent income tax returns. After your application for Medicare benefits is processed and approved, you will receive a Medicare card in the mail. You will give the information on this card to your health care providers when they render health care services on your behalf.
For more information about Medicare enrollment and Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona, please call (480) 706-1702.