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A Simple Guide to Helping Your Parents Apply for Medicare

Posted on May 23, 2022 by Larry Johnson

Ready to help your parents apply for Medicare, but have questions? Give us a call today at (800) 950-0608. Our licensed agents can help you answer any questions you may have regarding helping your parents sign up for Medicare.

Is it Time for Your Parents to Apply for Medicare?

If you’re new to it, the process to apply for Medicare can seem a lot harder than it really is. Taking over major healthcare and medical decisions for your loved ones can be tough as it is. Helping your parents sign up for Medicare can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

We receive the following questions all of the time, and it’s our mission to help deliver proper answers:

  • “How can I get Medicare for my parents?”
  • “Can I sign my parents up for Medicare?”
  • “How do I know if my parents qualify for Medicare enrollment?”
  • “Is there a Medicare guide for enrollment and eligibility?”

At MedicareInsurance.com, it’s our goal to help you navigate the world of Medicare enrollment with as little difficulty or stress as possible. Today, we’ve prepared a simple guide to Medicare enrollment to help you help your parents receive the benefits they deserve.

Do I Need to Be in Full Control of My Parents’ Healthcare Decisions to Help Them Apply for Medicare?

This depends on your situation. In any case, you can help your parents navigate the sign-up process without actually applying for them. If you need to handle your parents’ medical affairs because they can no longer do so, which means you’ll need to apply for them, then you should take the steps to obtain full authorization to handle your parents’ medical affairs on their behalf before applying.

If you simply need to help parents with Medicare sign-up, walking with them through the Medicare enrollment process is much easier today than it has ever been. To apply online, all you need is a My Social Security account and a few pieces of information. If your parents do not currently have a My Social Security account, helping them sign up for one is easy.

In order to create their account, your parents will need the following information:

  • Their Social Security number
  • A valid U.S. mailing address
  • A valid email address or mobile phone number. These are needed to receive a security code that they’ll enter back into the application in order to gain access

To apply for Medicare, your parents will need the following:

  • Their date of birth
  • If your parents were born outside of the United States, they’ll need to have their birth country and their Permanent Resident card on hand
  • If your parents are currently enrolled in Medicaid, they’ll need their Medicaid number, as well as the start and end dates of coverage
  • If your parents currently have health insurance, they’ll need their current health insurance information
  • Start and end dates of employment
  • Start and end dates of any current insurance

If your parents prefer not to apply online, you may also assist them with any of the other two application methods: applying by phone with Social Security, or applying in person at their local SSA office.

Be Sure to Check Your Parents’ Medicare Eligibility Before Enrolling

Just because your parents are of age to receive Medicare benefits does not mean that they are automatically eligible. All parts of Medicare have specific rules of eligibility that one must meet before they are eligible to enroll. 

Eligibility for Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A, or Medicare hospital insurance, is one of the parts that helps make up what is known as Original Medicare. Your parents typically become eligible for Medicare Part A when they turn 65, or if they have been diagnosed with a qualifying disease or disability. Your parents also become eligible to receive Medicare Part A if they:

  • Have received benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for at least four months before they turned 65.
  • Are under the age of 65 and have received Social Security or RRB benefits for 24 full months or two years because of a disability.
  • Have been diagnosed with ALS and currently receive Social Security or RRB benefits.

Eligibility for Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B, or Medicare medical insurance, is the second part of what is known as Original Medicare. If your parents are already receiving Social Security or RRB benefits, and have been for at least four months before turning 65, they may already be enrolled in both Part B and Part A. The rules of eligibility to receive Medicare Part B are essentially the same rules of eligibility for Part A.

If your parents haven’t automatically been enrolled in any part of Original Medicare, encourage and help them apply for Medicare during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This seven-month period is their initial chance to enroll in Medicare benefits, and begins three months before they turn 65, runs the month of their 65th birthday, and ends three months after they turn 65.

Eligibility for Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C is more commonly known as Medicare Advantage. These plans are offered by government-authorized private health insurance providers, and carry the same benefits – and sometimes more – as Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans can often help cover the things that Original Medicare does not, such as dental, vision, or hearing care.

In order to be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, your parents must already be enrolled in Original Medicare. If they were automatically enrolled in Original Medicare upon turning 65, but prefer private insurance, they can switch to a Medicare Advantage plan at any time during their seven-month IEP. If they do not make the switch during their IEP, they must wait until Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which takes place between October 15 and December 7 each year, to do so.

Eligibility for Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage plan. Much like Medicare Advantage plans, Part D plans are offered by government-authorized health insurance providers and help your parents get prescription medications at little to no cost. Medicare Prescription Drug plans can sometimes come packaged with Part C Medicare Advantage plans.Like Medicare Advantage, your parents must be eligible for or already be enrolled in Original Medicare in order to enroll in a Part D plan. They can take on Part D coverage as part of their Medicare plan, or switch to a Part C plan that provides coverage during their IEP or the Medicare OEP.

Let This Be Your Medicare Guide to Helping Your Parents Get the Benefits that They Deserve

While this simple Medicare guide to helping your parents apply for benefits may have been brief, we hope it at least serves as a primer for you to help your parents with Medicare enrollment. Helping your parents sign up for Medicare may not always be the easiest process in the world, but it doesn’t have to be complicated, either.

About the Author

Larry Johnson

Larry is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries on topics that matter. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

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