UNITED STATES─Toni: I worked for a major oil service company in Fort Bend County and recently I was part of the oil industry and Coronavirus lay-offs. I turned 65 last June and enrolled in Medicare Part A and delayed Part B since I was “still working.”

HR said nothing regarding how I should enroll in Medicare’s Part B. I’ve been told from friends that there is a Part B penalty and I really want to avoid that disaster.  Please advise what the Medicare Part B enrollment forms I will need ~ Mike from Tulsa, OK.

Mike: The Toni Says Medicare office has been receiving calls by concerned Americans on how to enroll in Medicare if one is past 65 and lost their job or want to be prepared because they may lose their job because of what is happening due to the Coronavirus lockdown, crashing oil prices and serious falling stock market.

Those past 65 and 90 days should know what paperwork they should have in their desk drawer or briefcase, just in case they get laid off and take to their HR or upper management and have these forms signed for yourself and also your spouse if they are also on your company benefits before you leave out the door. If one has already been laid off, then this is the process to keep from receiving the famous “Medicare Part B penalty” for both you and your spouse.

The process to enroll in Part B past 65 whether laid off or retiring is the same:

There are two forms Social Security will need and on the top of each form hand write in red letters is Special Enrollment Period for the Social Security agent that is processing them to know that you are signing up at the right time and keep from giving you a penalty. You are applying for a SEP (Special Enrollment Period). (These forms are also available at the Toni Says office by emailing info@tonisays.com or calling 832-519-8664.

1)       Form #1 Request for Employment Information (CMS-L564) for proof of group health care coverage based on current employment. This information is needed to process your Medicare enrollment application. If you have had 2 or more jobs since turning 65, then each company will have to sign this form. Be sure to have forms signed for both you and your covered spouse.

2)       Form #2 Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B(CMS-40B): Social Security fills out this form.

Social Security has closed all local offices and to process these forms properly, you will want to call your local office or Social Security 800# at 1-800-772-1213 and discuss turning in these forms directly to the Social Security office. When mailing forms directly, then please make copies, mail priority or next day with signature requested.

** When applying for Medicare if your yearly income for an individual was over $87,000 or married is over $174,000; your Parts B and D premiums will be more, and you can appeal your additional Medicare Part B and D premiums by filing CMS form SSA-44 “Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount-Life -Changing Event” if you income has lowered one range due to a specific life-changing event.**

Toni King, author of the Medicare Survival Guide® is giving a $5 discount on the  Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book to the Toni Says Medicare column readers at www.tonisays.com.