Enrolling in Medicare is a new experience for most. Whether getting Medicare by disability or by aging in, you are like the new kid in school. They don’t know you.
Because they don’t know you, it’s important to get out and introduce yourself. With Medicare you do this by going to MyMedicare.Gov and registering for your online account. Just after registering, the site will ask you if you want to complete the initial enrollment questionnaire.
Of course you do want to complete that questionnaire because it will drive how Medicare will be processing your claims. Most of the questions in the Initial Enrollment Coverage Questionnaire (IEQ) relate to other coverages you might be receiving through group insurance, workers comp, or auto accident. Medicare usually (but not always) pays secondary to these benefits.
When you complete the Medicare IEQ you are telling Medicare the correct information about your situation as you come in to Medicare. That way they know how to process your claims.
People are often surprised when they enroll in original Medicare that their claims are not being paid at first, this can become very distressing . The most common reason is that the Medicare IEQ was not completed and Medicare still thinks there is other insurance. This particularly affects new Medicare members that have worked past age 65 because Medicare still believes the group coverage is in place.
You may wonder if you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan whether you need to complete the IEQ since this was a question on the enrollment application. I would still go to MyMedicare.gov and complete the form, it will reinforce your coverage situation so you won’t have an insurance surprise. Insurance surprises are generally not good surprises.
Betsy Vipond is CEO of The Senior Health Advisor and has been in insurance for over 38 years. She is a board member of Tampa Bay Health Underwriters part of the National Association of Health Underwriters and specializes in Medicare products. You may contact her at (800) 603-0901.