All states have a Part B Buy-in, which is a process that can help you enroll in Part B outside regular enrollment periods.
Normally, you must wait until the General Enrollment Period (GEP) to sign up for Part B if you did not enroll in Part B when first eligible (see What is a Fair Hearing?). However, if you qualify for an MSP, you can enroll in Part B outside the GEP.
To be eligible for the Part B Buy-in, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements in your state for any level of MSP (see What are the Income and Asset Limits for the MSP?)
- Be enrolled in Part A. If the you are eligible for premium-free Part A, you can enroll in Part A at any time. If you pay a premium for Part A, you have to wait for the GEP to enroll (unless you live in a state that has a Part A Buy-in agreement and you meet the criteria: see What is the Part A Buy-In Program?). Once you enrolls in Part A, you can apply for an MSP.
After successfully getting the Part B Buy-in, you should be enrolled in:
- Medicare Parts A, B, and D
- A Medicare Savings Program, which at a minimum pays the Part B premium
- Extra Help, which lowers Part D drug costs
If you are eligible for the Part B Buy-in, go to your local Medicaid office and ask to apply for an MSP. For more information about how to navigate the Part B Buy-in process, contact your SHIP by calling 877-839-2675 or visiting www.shiptacenter.org.
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