How to apply for Medicare in Arizona
Medicare enrollment in Arizona is the same as any other state. To qualify for Medicare, you must be either a United States citizen or a legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years. Those who receive benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will be enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, automatically. Those with disabilities are eligible before age 65, and will be enrolled once they have received SSA disability benefits for more than 24 straight months.
Arizona Medicare Plans
If you’re a beneficiary in Arizona, you may have many different options available when it comes to getting your Medicare coverage.
In Arizona, as in the rest of the United States, the Medicare program generally works in the same way, regardless of where you live. You may choose to get your coverage through Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, which is the government-run program for seniors and certain disabled adults.
From there, you can also add on prescription drug coverage with a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D), since Original Medicare only offers limited prescription drug benefits. Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are available through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare.
Medicare enrollment in Arizona
As of November 2018, there were 1,271,695 Arizona residents with Medicare coverage. That’s a little less than 18 percent of the state’s population, compared with a little more than 18 percent of the United States population enrolled in Medicare.
A person can gain eligibility for Medicare due to age (being at least 65) or due to disability. In Arizona, 13 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were eligible due to a disability as of 2017, while 87 percent were eligible due to their age. Nationwide, 16 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries are eligible due to a disability, but there is quite a bit of state-by-state fluctuation: In Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi, 23 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were disabled as of 2017, while in Hawaii it was just 9 percent.
Because you must pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B, you have the option of turning it down once you receive your “Welcome to Medicare” packet in the mail a few months before your eligibility date. Please note that if you do refuse this coverage when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare.
If you are not automatically enrolled, you may contact your local SSA office or register online or over the phone.
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 7AM to 7PM.
- Visit the Social Security website.
- If you worked for a railroad, call the RRB at 1-877-772-5772 (TTY users call 312-751-4701), Monday through Friday, 9AM to 3:30 PM.