For this next Blog installment, we wanted to tackle something that has been coming up recently – PROCESSING TIMES for Medicare. We ALWAYS recommend that someone who is looking to move over to Medicare give themselves at least 2 months lead time. This is due to Social Security / CMS processing times. However, if there are issues with your application this processing time can take much longer!
Factors that impact processing times:
Application Volume: High application volumes, especially during peak enrollment periods, can lead to longer processing times. This is not an easy prediction. Approximately 11,000 people turn 65 every day in the US so the volume is high in general but add in people retiring, or Medicare Annual Election period or Medicare’s General Election period and things can get overwhelming for CMS.
Completeness and Accuracy: Incomplete or inaccurate information on the application form may result in delays as additional documentation or clarification is required. If you are enrolling during your initial enrollment period, when you are turning 65, you can do this online. This takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
Verification Process: CMS verifies information provided for eligibility, including identity and citizenship, which can take additional time. As an example – if you are enrolling in Medicare after your initial enrollment period you do have to supply Social Security / CMS with additional information which means it will take additional time for SS / CMS to verify your information.
Tips for a Smooth Application Process:
To expedite processing, submit your application early, double-check all information for accuracy and completeness, and follow up with CMS if needed. A follow-up to CMs will require a phone call or a visit to your Social Security office. Both options do require a considerable amount of your time BUT remember this is your Healthcare coverage you are setting up and this process does require your time and effort to ensure it is done correctly.
Our recommendation for a smooth Medicare Enrollment Process:
Give yourself ample time – at least 60 days.
Ensure your information is accurate.
Have a Medicare Partner like Fanny or Myself walk you through this process.