If you’re going to apply for Medicare, you will probably want to know a timeline for approval. Approval depends on several factors. These are: when you applied, how you applied and who is processing your application. And you don’t want to drop any current insurance or plans you are enrolled in until you get confirmation.
Initial Enrollment Period
You have a 7-month window surrounding your 65th birthday month to enroll in Medicare, this begins 3 months before your birthday and ends 3 months after your birthday. You can apply online through the Social Security Administration (SSA). Some things to note:
- Wait times could be longer than usual due to backlogs.
- Your effective date depends on your application date. If you applied a month before your birthday month your effective date will start on the 1st of your birthday month. But if you apply after your birthday month, social security might delay your effective date.
- Online submissions of an application will be your smoothest and most reliable form of applying as opposed to mailing in or faxing your documents.
- It could take 8 weeks before receiving confirmation.
- We recommend applying for part B two months before you need it to be effective. You should also write the effective date you need in the remarks section on CMS form 40B, hopefully they will honor it if you’ve submitted the documents before that date.
Approval During a Special Enrollment Period
If you had creditable coverage, and because of that, you delayed Medicare past your 65th birthday, your process for enrollment application will be different. If part B was delayed, you must complete forms L564 and 40B. A way to submit those forms is online through the SSA website, you can also fax them or mail them to an SSA office. But we can also help!
Checking Your Application Status
Social Security handles your Medicare application, not Medicare. So, you must log in to your Social Security account to examine your application status and look for your Medicare confirmation. Here are listed the steps that you must follow:
- Sign in to your “My Social Security” account.
- If you have decided to set up a 2-part verification, you should get an email or text message to enter a code online.
- Select the “Replacement Documents” link that will appear on the right side of your screen.
- Select “Get a Benefit Verification Letter”.
- The effective dates of your Medicare and your Medicare number should appear in the Benefit Verification Letter.
If an excessive amount of time has passed and you still haven’t received any indication that your application has been approved, you should contact Social Security to make sure they have received your application and have everything they need. Again, we can help you!
When to Expect Your Medicare Card
When you’ve confirmed that your Medicare application was indeed approved, it should take 2-4 weeks for you to receive your Medicare card in the mail. It will be stated on your card the effective dates and number.
For other applications such as Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Part D all you need is your Medicare number. You can view your Medicare number in your SSA account which means you don’t need to wait to receive your card to move on forward with other applications you might be interested in.
Medicare Plan Approvals
Medicare does not cover 100% of your healthcare costs, which means you will want to think about enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan, Part D plan, or Advantage plan. It also means that you should know the approval time of those applications beforehand.
Medicare Supplement Applications
If you want to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment window, you should be approved within a week after applying. But let’s suppose that you use medical underwriting or Guaranteed issue to apply for a Medicare Supplement plan. If that’s the case, it could take up to 4-6 weeks to get notified of the approval. However, if the application was submitted before the requested effective date, they should honor that date.
Part D or Medicare Advantage Applications
It can take a little longer if you enroll in a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, but generally, your application will be approved by the carrier within 7-14 business days. If you have submitted or will submit an Advantage plan or Part D application before the effective date, they should accept that.
It will most likely take several weeks for Social Security to process your Medicare application. If you need it to start the following month, do not wait until the end of the month to apply. If you want to move forward with other Medicare applications, you will want to give yourself some time to get your approval and Medicare number.
Need help navigating your Medicare coverage with your travel plans? Give Karen or Matt a call at 865-203-2040 or email us at email@example.com!
*Medicare Insurance Specialty Group is Not Approved By, Endorsed By, or Affiliated With A Government Agency. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.