Many people come into our office and ask, “where can I apply for Medicare?”. Depending on the type of Medicare you are applying for, we may be able to help! Most parts of Medicare are offered by private insurance companies. Brokers can also help people shop and enroll in private Medicare plans, at no extra cost. There are certain parts of Medicare where you will need to contact the Social Security Administration. So when you ask, “where can I apply for Medicare”, the answer is — it depends on what you are applying for!
Part A and Part B
The first step of the process is to enroll in Part A and Part B of Medicare. Part A and Part B of Medicare is known as Original Medicare. Original Medicare is offered by the government. Without Part A and Part B of Medicare, you cannot enroll in Part C plans or Medicare Supplement plans.
We recommend enrolling in Part A and Part B three months prior to your Medicare eligibility date. It is important you enroll in both Part A and Part B prior to applying for additional coverage. The Social Security Administration handles Part A and B applications.
- Enroll in Part A & B online
- Social Security Administration’s Phone Number: (800) 772-1213
- Northern NV Social Security Administration’s Office Address: 1170 Harvard Way, Reno, NV 89502
After you apply for Part A and Part B, you will receive a new Medicare Card in the mail. You will need this card before applying for additional coverage.
Many people ask, “where can I apply for Medicare Part C?” Fortunately, our office helps people enroll in these plans. Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. These plans are offered by private insurance companies. They range in benefit and price. Depending on the plan you enroll in, these plans may include value added services like dental, vision, or hearing aid benefits. Before you apply for one of these plans, it is important to make sure your favorite doctors are covered. If you have prescriptions, it is a good idea to make sure your drugs are covered as well. One of our licensed brokers will help you with this process.
Medicare Supplement Plans
Medicare Supplement plans are also known as Medigap plans. Since these plans are offered by private insurance companies, brokers like us can help you enroll! These plans do not cover prescriptions. Most people purchase a standalone Part D drug plan in addition to a Medicare Supplement plan so their prescriptions are covered. These plans have identical medical benefits, regardless which insurance company you choose. Be careful – these plans may have the same benefits, but the premium increases vary from carrier to carrier. It is a good idea to shop these plans with a broker to make sure you are enrolling in a plan that has high premium increases!
The federal Medicare website helps people enroll in part D drug plans. Your drug plan information is saved on your account from year to year, making the renewal process even easier. We recommend going to www.medicare.gov and creating an account. Once you create an account, you can click on “Find and Compare Plans” to enroll.