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Can I get Medicare for my elderly parent?

Woman Helping Senior Parent With Medicare Paperwork

At MedicareInsurance.com, our team of experienced Medicare agents will be happy to answer any questions that you or your parent have about Medicare insurance enrollment, coverage, and all the benefits that come with it. Feel free to contact us by phone at (800) 950-0608 or utilize our online chat feature to speak with a live agent today!

Just the Essentials…

  • Medicare is a government-managed health insurance program designed for individuals aged 65 or older or those who have been diagnosed with certain qualifying disabilities.

  • Believe it or not, it is relatively simple to enroll your parents in Medicare on their behalf.

  • Medicare consists of several different parts, each of which cover different healthcare needs.

  • Depending on your parents’ healthcare needs and current coverage, the various parts of medicare may affect how you wish to enroll them.

Can I get Medicare on behalf of my parent?

Navigating the world of Medicare requires quality guidance. This is true whether you are the person receiving Medicare benefits, or a child helping your parents get the benefits that they need. 

You may be pleased to know that adult children can apply for Medicare on behalf of their parents. There are a few things to know about the application process including what documents to gather and information to have. Courtesy of MedicareInsurance.com, here’s what to know about applying for Medicare on behalf of someone else.

How do people get Medicare?

Before applying for Medicare, it’s important to understand how people usually get on Medicare to begin with. People who already receive benefits from Social Security for at least 4 months prior to turning 65 can begin to receive Medicare Part A and Part B (a.k.a Original Medicare) as soon as they are eligible.

Those who are under 65 and have a qualifying disability can also receive Medicare Part A and B after receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for 24 months.

People who don’t already receive Social Security benefits will need to sign up for Medicare through the SSA. The application for Medicare can be completed online through the SSA website, over the phone, or by visiting an SSA office in person.

How do I begin enrolling my parents in Medicare?

Enrolling your elderly parent in Medicare is not as difficult as it may seem. You can start by asking your parents if they have taken any steps to set up their Medicare coverage in the past or if they have spoken to a Medicare insurance agent in the past. 

If you can find paperwork with this information, our experienced insurance agents may be able to expedite the process of getting Medicare set up for your parent. Even if your parent hasn’t started Medicare enrollment, it’s okay. The process is still quite simple.

The first step in applying for Medicare is gathering the appropriate information needed to complete the application. You can start by creating a My Social Security Account.

Other than being 18 years or older, creating the account will require that you possess:

  • A Social Security Number
  • A valid U.S. mailing address
  • A valid email address or cell phone number in order to receive a security code, which must then be entered back into the application. 

If creating an electronic account isn’t preferred, applying by phone with Social Security, or applying in-person at a local SSA office are both acceptable.

Whether or not a person uses a My Social Security account, they must provide the following to apply for Medicare:

  • Date of birth
  • Birth country (if your parent was born outside the United States)
  • Permanent Resident Card number (If your parent is not a U.S. citizen)
  • Medicaid number with the start and end dates of coverage (if your parent has Medicaid)
  • Current health insurance information (If your parent gets their insurance through an employer or their spouse’s employer)
  • The start and end date of employment and the start and end date of any current insurance

Important Things to Remember

When applying for Medicare, each parent will need to apply or qualify for Medicare separately. This means that the period of time your parents have to enroll will vary depending on when they apply or become eligible.

When you apply for Medicare on a parent’s behalf, you should be prepared to fill out an electronic authorization form. By filling out this form in advance, your parent gives Medicare permission to give you information about their coverage when you call the 1-800-MEDICARE hotline. 

The quickest way to fill out this form is online. But you can also download, print, fill out, and return the form by mail. Note that electronic forms allow immediate permission, while submitting paper forms can take a few weeks before permission is granted.

Alternatively, permission to receive your parents’ personal health information from Medicare can be granted verbally, over the phone, or when speaking with a representative at the 1-800-MEDICARE hotline. This will require that both you and your parent are present on the call, and that your parent is able to verbally agree to grant this permission to you. These calls are recorded for quality assurance and compliance with Medicare guidelines.

How do the different parts of Medicare affect the process of enrolling my parents?

Medicare health insurance consists of several different parts, each of which are responsible for the coverage of various healthcare treatments, services, and supplies. Read on to learn more about how the different parts of Medicare work together and how this process may affect your parents’ enrollment process.

Part A and Part B: Original Medicare

When your parents enroll in Medicare, they will have inpatient hospital expenses covered under Medicare Part A and outpatient medical expenses (i.e., those not requiring admittance to a hospital) covered under Medicare Part B. Put together, Part A and Part B are referred to as Original Medicare. If your parent receives insurance coverage through an employer or through a spouse’s employer, they may not want to enroll in Part B coverage until later.

Medigap: Medicare Supplement Policies

Those enrolled in Original Medicare can purchase a Medigap plan to help cover the out-of-pocket hospital and medical costs that Original Medicare Parts A and B don’t pay for in full. While Medigap policies do not currently include prescription drug coverage, they can often pay for up to 100% of remaining costs for hospital and medical services covered by Medicare. 

Without regard for pre-existing conditions, Medigap is available for purchase during the initial 7-month enrollment period into Medicare. After the initial enrollment period ends, underwriting assessment of pre-existing conditions is required in order to receive coverage under a Medigap plan. These plans may also make policyholders responsible for paying an additional premium on top of premiums for Medicare Part A (if any) and Medicare Part B.

Part C: Medicare Advantage

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is another option that may help your parent reduce out-of-pocket costs for hospital and medical services. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, and as a result, benefits may vary.

Medicare Advantage plans can have monthly insurance premiums as low as $0, and members use only a set network of health care providers. Medicare Advantage plans often include prescription drug coverage, as well as additional benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing coverage. To enroll in Medicare Part C, one must also be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B as well.

Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage

Prescription drug coverage under Medicare is referred to as Medicare Part D. As stated, Medicare Part D coverage can often be included as part of certain Medicare Advantage plans, but separate Part D plans can be offered as well. These standalone prescription drug plans can provide choices for prescription coverage and are used in conjunction with either Original Medicare and a Medigap policy, or Original Medicare and Medicaid from the state your parent lives in.

If your parent is not satisfied with the coverage provided by Original Medicare, or if they don’t like the payment and benefit structure of Medicare Advantage, they have an opportunity to switch to another type of plan each year between October 15th and December 7th. This period is known as the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), or Open Enrollment.

If you need help guiding your parents through Medicare enrollment, don’t hesitate to contact the licensed insurance agents at MedicareInsurance.com via our live chat feature, or by phone at (800) 950-0608 today.

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