Enrollng For Medicare

By Molly Mulebriar

Enrolling for Medicare is an easy, quick process. Internet based, one has only to complete a short, simple application (takes about 10 minutes) and your done. No health questions, no PPO directory to review, no height and weight question, no medical questionnaire to worry about……just indicate who you are, your birthdate, Social Security Number, and a few other generic questions.  No waiting period for pre-existing conditions.

In 1973, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas representatives did not have internet enrollment capabilities, but the application was much the same. The size of a post card, the only questions to be completed were (1) Name, (2). Address (3). Social Security number, (3). List of dependents and ages of all applicants. No health questions, no height and weight box to complete, easy and simple.  No waiting period for pre-existing conditions.

Starting in 2014 we suspect enrollment applications will be simplified since there can be no pre-existing condition exclusions. The days of “underwriting” a group health risk using health questionnaires will end.

However, through state exchanges, now called Marketplace, pricing “underwriting” will be necessary because of government subsidies. Instead of a simple, ten minute enrollment like one finds on www.socialsecurity.gov for Medicare applicants, a 22 page application is required to be completed, mostly related to one’s finances.