By Deborah Banikowski
District Manager, Syracuse
For many people, signing up for Medicare Part B doesn’t require you to leave the comfort of home. Please visit our Medicare Part B webpage at secure.ssa.gov/acu/ophandler/loginSuccess if:
• You’re enrolled in Medicare Part A.
• You would like to enroll in Part B during the special enrollment period.
You can complete form CMS-40B (Application for Enrollment in Medicare — Part B [Medical Insurance]) at www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms-Items/CMS017339 and CMS-L564 at www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/CMS-L564E.pdf (Request for Employment Information) online.
You can also fax the CMS-40B and CMS-L564 to 1-833-914-2016; or return forms by mail to your local Social Security office. Please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) if you have any questions.
Note: When completing the forms:
• State, “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
• If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature.
Submit one of the following types of secondary evidence by uploading it from a saved document on your computer:
• Income tax returns that show health insurance premiums paid.
• W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
• Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
• Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
• Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
• Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
Please let your friends and loved ones know about this online, mail, or fax option.
Q: How do I earn Social Security credits and how many do I need to qualify for benefits?
A: We use your total yearly earnings to figure your Social Security credits. The amount needed for a credit in 2021 is $1,470. You can earn a maximum of four credits for any year. The amount needed to earn one credit usually increases each year when average wages increase.
You must earn a certain number of credits to qualify for Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need depends on your age when you apply and the type of benefit application. No one needs more than 40 credits for any Social Security benefit. You can read more about credits in How You Earn Credits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.
For more information, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Q: I want to sign up for a Medicare Part C and D plan, but I’m not sure which plan I want. Is there a resource to help me find a plan?
A: Yes. Medicare.gov has an online plan finder and instructions available on how to use this tool. To access the Medicare Plan Finder, please visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.