Problem:

Mr. C had been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months and became eligible for Medicare in December 2012. Mr. C enrolled in Part A but turned down Part B because he felt he could not afford the Part B premium. Soon afterwards, Mr. C realized that without Part B he would not have coverage for his doctor’s visits. He went to his local Social Security office to enroll in Part B in early January 2013. However, when Mr. C received his Medicare card, it stated that his Part B coverage would not begin until July 1, 2013.

What To Do:

Mr. C contacted the Social Security Office once more. A representative informed him that he was still in his Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) when he enrolled in Part B in January. The representative explained the IEP begins three months before a person becomes eligible for Medicare and ends three months after. That means Mr. C’s IEP began in September 2012 and will last through March 2013. Since Mr. C enrolled in the fifth month of his IEP, his coverage should begin in March 2013, the second month following the month of enrollment. The Social Security representative corrected the mistake.

For more information on when to enroll into Medicare Part B, please click here.

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