Due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic, many local social service locations, community organizations, and offices are closed and working remotely
Some organizations are really backed up and trying to keep apace, while other are trying to keep up with the latest demand and trend in applications for retirement, or people who continued to work after retirement age and had to stop working due to massive laid-offs triggered by Covid-19.
How to Enroll in Medicare when Loosing your Job, being termed, laid off due to Covid-19, no longer self employed, or working with no health insurance offered by employer
At first, let’s review the latest updates and information that can set you on the right path.
· Social security offices are closed
· Social Security Offices are open to take your call over the phone. For any assistance, you would have to contact your local SSA office. Your office is determined by where you live.
· Use this link to find the office that is in your jurisdiction: Field Office Locator | SSA – Social Security Administration
If 65 or over, and recently laid-off, or working with no health insurance, and don’t have Medicare
You can apply for Medicare over the phone by calling: 1 (800) 772-1213, or you can apply online here: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/rib. Applying online would require that you have a working computer, must create an account with Social Security Online, and all security questions must be answered correctly or you can be locked out. Here’s a nice video they put together on how to apply online: https://www.ssa.gov/hlp/video/iclaim_r01.htm
After communicating with Social Security, they will set up an interview for you over the phone. Please note that from the time you call them to apply, they may schedule your phone interview a few weeks later, or even a month later because they are very backed up. Try to explain to them in as much detail as possible the urgency in your situation to see if they can schedule an earlier interview date, so if you qualify, you will get coverage sooner than later.
If you currently have Medicare Part A and need to apply for Part B
There are 2 forms that need to be filled out and sent to your local Social Security office * BY FAX. If you need help finding your local office, or the fax number. Once you call your local Social Security office, they would provide you with their fax number.
The 2 forms are:
• CMS 40B form – This is the application for Medicare Part B. You can follow the link to print the form ( English): Link: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS40B-E.pdf
• CMS L564 form– This is the form that your Employer must fill out. You must fill out the first section (Section A). The second section ( Section B) must be filled out by your employer): ( English) Link: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.pdf
After you fill out Section A, fax the CMS L564 form to your employer or HR department and don’t forget to include your local Social Security fax number where your employer has to fax the form to after they complete Section B.
* make sure to ask your employer for a copy of the form for your records. Always keep records and copies of the forms and follow up with your local Social Security office to ensure they received the forms. Any questions, contact me for assistance.
Important things to consider:
- Keep copies of all your records
- Follow up with your local Social Security office. Call frequently to ensure they received all the required documents
- Social Security offices are closed, but available through the phone.
- Remember Medicare Part B has a premium which has to be paid each month. Medicare part B premium can be picked up by the state through MEDICARE SAVINGS PROGRAM (MSP), if you fit certain income guidelines. MSP is a separate form that has to be filled out and sent in by mail after you receive your Medicare Part B.
Feel free to drop a line if you need any help or assistance. Hope this piece of insight was helpful.
The information provided above is for educational purposes, and expresses my knowledge and experience working in the New York City Metropolitan area. The intention of this post is to help equip seniors, family, and friends with resources and information that can help you live a better and healthier life.