Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15 through December 7.  Now is the time to sign up or change your Medicare plans.  The federal government offers substantial online resources, including calculations and comparisons, and a great deal of information.  The Social Security Administration offers an online sign-up that takes less than ten minutes, and might be appropriate for someone who is not applying only for Medicare.  According to the SSA, you can use the online Medicare application if you: 

  • Are at least 64 years and 9 months old,
  • Want to sign up for Medicare but do not currently have ANY Medicare coverage, and
  • Do not want to start receiving Social Security benefits at this time.  (If you aren’t sure, you can apply for Medicare now and apply online for benefits later.)  

For more information, see: 

http://www.medicare.gov/index.html
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly/

If looking through the government sites creates information overload, Consumer Reports’ insurance expert, Nancy Metcalf, points to the most relevant sections.  Read Nancy’s article at http://news.consumerreports.org/health/2012/10/medicare-open-enrollment-how-can-i-find-a-better-plan.html.

Eastside Friends of Seniors also has a SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) expert available too – call the office at 425-369-9120 to find out how to schedule a consultation.