Whitesburg KY

Medicare Part B deadline is near

If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B medical insurance when you first became eligible for Medicare, you now have an opportunity to apply – but time is running out. The deadline for applying is March 31. If you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until 2009 to apply.

Medicare Part B covers some medical expenses not covered by Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), such as doctors’ fees, outpatient hospital visits and other medical supplies and services that are not covered by Medicare Part A.

When you first become eligible for hospital insurance (Part A), you have a seven-month period (your initial enrollment period) in which to sign up for medical insurance (Part B). After that, you have to pay a higher premium – unless you were covered through an employer’s group health plan or a group health plan based on a spouse’s employment. You are given another opportunity to enroll in Part B during the general enrollment period, from January 1 to March 31 of each year. But each 12- month period that you are eligible for Medicare Part B and do not sign up, the amount of your monthly premium increases by 10 percent.

You can learn more about Medicare by reading our electronic booklet, Medicare (SSA Publication No. 05-10043) at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ 10043.html. You may also call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to ask for a copy. Or visit the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov. You may also call Medicare at 1- 800-MEDICARE (1-800-633- 4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).

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