Signing up for Medicare

Barry Atwood as a boy

Young Barry Atwood

Enrolling my husband Barry in Medicare was much easier than I expected. Deciding whether to stay with original Medicare or choose a Medicare Advantage Plan is an entirely different matter, but we didn’t have to make that decision in order to sign him up.

He could have gone to the local Social Security Office or called to apply, but we opted to do it online, which took us less than 10 minutes. As I mentioned in a previous post, he decided not to take Social Security benefits until he reaches his full retirement age a year from now. It’s a question you need to be prepared to answer on the application form.

I copied images of the online application from the Social Security website so you can see what the form looks like.

Welcome page for on line Medicare applicationMedicare Online Application form page 2Medicare Online Application Form page 3Medicare Online Application Page 4aMedicare Online Application Form page 4bMedicare Online Application Form page 5Medicare Online Application page 6

Once you submit the application, you’ll get an electronic “Evidence and Receipt” confirming it was received, along with a confirmation number. You’re supposed to use that number to check your application status online, which I’m unable to do now because the system is down for maintenance until 5 am Monday. Carol Rancourt, my Medicare expert at the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging says make sure to print or save everything on your computer for your records.

So … the next step. If he sticks with original Medicare, he also needs to choose a prescription drug plan and possibly, a Medigap policy. But maybe he’ll opt for a Medicare Advantage plan instead. Confused? It’s only the beginning! Stay tuned.