Earlier this spring during the COVID-19 pandemic, we highlighted the need for a change in Medicare’s enrollment process. Many working older adults who had delayed their enrollment in Medicare Part B were either loosing or quitting their jobs to stay safe during the pandemic. Yet, with most Social Security offices closed due to COVID-19, people were have trouble enrolling in Medicare Part B during their 8-month Special Enrollment Period. Now Social Security is offering several easy ways people can enroll in Medicare Part B without even leaving their home. This is great news!
As long as you are:
- Already enrolled in Medicare Part A, and
- You are still in your 8-month Special Enrollment Period (this SEP starts the month of terminated employment and ends 8 months later),
you can enroll in Medicare Part B online, by fax or mail. To do this, you can complete form CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B [Medical Insurance]) and CMS-L564 (Request for Employment Information) online.
You can also fax the CMS-40B and CMS-L564 or return forms by mail to your local Social Security office. Please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) if you have any questions.
Some additional things to note when completing the forms, as stated in Social Security’s recent article include:
- State, “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature.
- Submit one of the following types of secondary evidence by uploading it from a saved document on your computer:
- Income tax returns that show health insurance premiums paid.
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
- Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
- Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
- Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
- Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
Please share this information with family and friends. For more details, visit Social Security’s Medicare Part B webpage.
If you would like some assistance, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222.