Medicare Enrollment Checklist – Helping You Prepare for an Important DecisionPosted by Medicare Made Clear
Choosing the right Medicare plan might seem intimidating at first. How do you know which plan is right for you? When are you eligible to enroll? Fortunately, there are steps you can take before getting started to help make the process a little easier. An important first step is knowing the information you need at hand when researching and enrolling in a Medicare plan. The Medicare Enrollment Checklist can help you prepare for this important decision.
What information will I need?
As you explore and compare plans for yourself or a loved one, it’s a good idea to have the following information close at hand. This can help make it easier to evaluate your choices, compare coverage and even enroll in a plan that meets your needs.
Basic Information: You’ll usually need to enter general information about yourself to research plans in your area and enroll in a plan when you’re ready. This can include:
- Birth date
- Permanent residence address
- Phone number
- Emergency contact information
- Email address
Medicare Information: You’ll likely need to enter information about your Medicare eligibility. This is especially important if you are enrolling in a plan. You might need your:
- Medicare claim number (you can find this on your red, white and blue Medicare card)
- Medicare effective date
- Name and policy information for any other insurance coverage you might have (e.g., policy number, member ID number, group number, etc.)
Long Term Care Facility Information: Medicare coverage might change for residents of long term care facilities. Therefore, to research and enroll in the plan that’s right for you, it’s helpful to include the following:
- If you are a current resident of a long-term care facility, you may need the Name of the institution, its address & the main phone number.
- If you are moving into or out of a long-term care facility, you may also need the date of your move.
Contact Information for Current Health Care Professionals: It’s helpful to have a list of your doctors and other health care professionals ready. This way, you won’t have to spend time searching for this information. This includes:
- Names and addresses for all doctors you see, including specialists
- Name and address of your preferred hospital; if you have more than one, be sure to get information for all of them.
Prescription Drug Information: A formulary is the list of drugs a certain plan will cover. A plan’s pharmacy network is the group of pharmacies that have agreed to fill prescriptions for that plan. Having the following information ready can help you choose the plan with the coverage you need.
- Name and address of your pharmacy
- List of all your current prescription drugs and dosages
Personal Health Information: When you’re researching plans or enrolling in a plan, you may be asked some questions regarding your current health conditions. Your answers to these questions can often help determine the type of plan that’s best for you. For example, if you have diabetes, your best choice might be a Special Needs Plan specifically tailored to people with diabetes. You should have a list of:
- Current health conditions
- Any ongoing treatments you are currently receiving (e.g., chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.)
Plan Premium Payment Information: When enrolling in a plan, you will be asked how you’d like to pay your plan premium. Some common options are payment coupons, automatic withdrawal from your monthly Social Security check, or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from a bank account. If you want to set up plan premium payment options (such as EFT from a bank account), be sure to have the following available:
- Account holder name
- Bank routing number
- Bank account number
- Account type (e.g., Checking, Savings)
You can have this checklist at your fingertips with a handy online version. Visit the Medicare Enrollment Checklist to see what we mean.
Next Step: Find and Compare Plans
Once you’ve gotten all your information together, you should be ready to research plans. The Medicare.gov plan finder can help you find plans in your area that meet your needs. You can search by entering your ZIP code and answering a couple basic questions, like how you get your Medicare coverage. The Plan Finder lets you view all plans available in your area. You can select the ones you’d like to learn more about and compare them side by side.
For more information contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. You can also contact UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Made Clear to learn more at 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.