What Is The Initial Enrollment Period For Medicare
The Medicare Initial Enrollment Period is your seven-month window to apply for Medicare and enroll in a Medicare plan. The period starts three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after. Choosing your Medicare plan during the IEP is your best way to avoid late-enrollment penalties.
First time enrollment tip: If you need coverage the month you turn 65, be sure to sign up in the 3-month window before your birthday.
Can You Sign Up For Medicare At Any Time
No, you can only enroll in Medicare during one of the enrollment periods. The first opportunity you have to enroll is during your Initial Enrollment Period. If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, your second opportunity to sign up is during the General Enrollment Period. Outside both of these enrollment windows, you can sign up during a Special Enrollment Period if you qualify.
When Does Medicare Not Automatically Start
Medicare will NOT automatically start when you turn 65 if youre not receiving Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months prior to your 65th birthday. Youll need to apply for Medicare coverage.
Theres no such thing as a Medicare office enrollment in the program is handled by the Social Security Administration . If you have to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B on your own, you can visit your local Social Security office.
You can also online by following the instructions at the Social Security Administration Medicare Benefits web page. In most cases, signing up online will take ten minutes.
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Making Changes To Medicare: Open Enrollment Period
If you already have Medicare Parts A and B, you have an Open Enrollment Period every year between October 15 and December 7. During open enrollment, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You can also switch from traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan during this time. If you want to switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to traditional Medicare, you can do so during open enrollment or during the special Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period that runs from January 1 through February 14 each year. Once you select a new plan to enroll in, you’ll be disenrolled automatically from your old plan when your new plan’s coverage begins.
When coverage begins. When you switch coverage during the Open Enrollment Period, your new coverage starts January 1. When you switch back to traditional Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, your coverage will start on the first day of the month after the month in which you disenroll.
Special trial period for first year you join a Medicare Advantage plan. If you first join a Medicare Advantage plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can drop the plan anytime during the first 12 months. But you can only switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan during an Open Enrollment Period .
Do I Have To Sign Up For Medicare
Thinking about how to sign up for Medicare at age 65? You might not have to worry about Medicare enrollment its automatic for many people.
But even if youre enrolled in Original Medicare automatically, that might not take care of all your needs. Original Medicare doesnt cover routine dental care or prescription drugs, for example. Well get to additional coverage options later.
So how do you know if youre going to be automatically enrolled in Medicare?
- Generally, if youre already getting Social Security retirement benefits when you become eligible for Medicare, youre automatically signed up for Part A and Part B.
- If youre not getting Social Security benefits yet when you turn 65 for example, if you decided to delay your benefits youll need to sign up.
Watch for your red, white, and blue Medicare card to arrive in the mail around three months before your birthday. Your coverage begins the first day of the month of your 65th birthday for most people. If you turn 65 on the first of the month, your coverage begins the month before your birthday.
When do I sign up for Medicare?
You can sign up for Medicare at any time during the seven-month period that begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and extends three months past the month you turn 65.
Learn about Medicare enrollment if you qualify for Medicare before age 65 due to disability.
When will your coverage begin if you sign up during your IEP?
NEW TO MEDICARE?
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Medicare Part D Enrollment
If you didnt sign up for Medicare Part D when you were first eligible, you can sign up during an annual open enrollment period, which takes place from October 15 to December 7 each year.
Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage can also be purchased during an annual Medicare Advantage open enrollment period that takes place from January 1 to March 31.
When To Apply For Original Medicare
There are three times when you can enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B, also called Original Medicare. You can enroll:
1. During your Initial Enrollment Period
Your first chance to sign up for Medicare starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. These seven months are called the Initial Enrollment Period.
For example, if you were born on Aug. 15, your initial enrollment period would start on May 1, include the month of August and then run through Nov. 30.
When you apply during the three months before you turn 65:
- Your Medicare benefits will start on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. If you’re born on the first day of the month, your coverage will start on the first day of the month prior to your birth date.
When you apply during the month of your 65th birthday, or during the three months after:
- Your Medicare coverage will start one month to three months later, depending on when you enroll.
2. During the General Enrollment Period
If you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible, you can sign up between Jan. 1 and March 31 each year. This is called the General Enrollment Period.
When you enroll during this time:
- Your coverage begins July 1.
- You may have to pay a higher premium.
3. In a Special Enrollment Period
If you meet certain requirements, you can apply during a Special Enrollment Period.
When you apply during this time:
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Signing Up For Medicare
If you’re collecting Social Security benefits. If you claim Social Security benefits at age 65 or earlier, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65, in both Part A and Part B. You can disenroll from Part B but not from Part A.
To enroll in Part B after age 65 later , you can fill out an Application for Enrollment in Medicare Part B and bring it or mail it to a Social Security office.
If you’re not collecting Social Security benefits. If you are 64 years and nine months or older and you have not started collecting Social Security benefits, you can sign up for both Part A and Part B online at .
How Medicare enrollment affects HSAs. Note that, when you’re enrolled in Part A, you are no longer allowed to make pre-tax contributions to your health savings account , though you cancontinue to use the funds already in your HSA account. Since anyone collecting Social Security retirement benefits has to be enrolled in Part A, this means that no one collecting Social Security can contribute to an HSA.
For 2018 premiums and deductibles, see Nolo’s 2018 Medicare cost update.
Your First Chance To Sign Up
Generally, when you turn 65. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period. It lasts for 7 months, starting 3 months before you turn 65, and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Avoid the penaltyIf you miss your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period, you may have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage. The penalty goes up the longer you wait. You may also have to pay a penalty if you have to pay a Part A premium, also called Premium-Part A.
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If You Have A Disability
If youve been receiving either Social Security disability benefits or railroad retirement board disability benefits for at least 24 consecutive months, youre eligible to enroll in Medicare at any time, no matter your age.
If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or end stage renal disease , youre also eligible for Medicare at any time, independent of your age.
Medicare Penalty: Sign Up Before You Turn 65 To Avoid Late Enrollment Charges
If youre closing in on age 65, nows a good time to sign up for Medicare benefits to avoid late enrollment penalties especially since the open enrollment period is currently underway through Dec. 7.
Social Security Poll: What Matters Most to You?Senior Savings: How Exploring Medicare Options Cuts Costs During Open Enrollment
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends filing for Medicare benefits three months before your 65th birthday when those benefits kick in. If you already receive Social Security, youll automatically be enrolled in original Medicare Part A for hospital coverage and Part B for medically necessary and preventive services without having to fill out an additional application. However, you can opt-out of Part B if you dont want to pay the premium.
If you enroll three months ahead of time, youll receive a Medicare card about two months before age 65. Or, you can wait until you turn 65 to sign up for original Medicare and add on any additional coverage from there, such as Part D for drug coverage. But if you wait too long, youll face late enrollment charges.
Heres how the various rate enrollment penalties work:
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What Happens After I Register For Medicare Online
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by Medicare to ensure all the information is accurate and complete. You should double-check your contact information to make sure it is correct. This is important to ensure prompt delivery of your Identification Card, as well as in the event Medicare needs to contact you about your enrollment.
After your application is received and processed, a letter will be mailed to you with the decision. If you encounter any questions or problems during the process, you can always contact Social Security for assistance.
I Turn 65 In A Few Months When Should I Sign Up For Medicare
En español | If you already receive Social Security benefits, Social Security will automatically sign you up for Medicare Part A and Part B though you can decline Part B enrollment if you want to. Otherwise, you need to apply for Medicare. The best time to do that depends entirely on your own situation. Broadly, there are two options:
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When Do I Get My Medicare Card
In most circumstances, youll get a Medicare I.D. card several weeks after your initial application. However, waiting times can be up to 90 days. If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare because you already get Social Security benefits, you will receive your I.D. card two months before turning 65.
Dont Register For Medicare Alone
If youre uncomfortable with applying for Medicare alone, we can help! Our services are completely free for you. If you would like an agent by your side when applying, contact us. We can walk you through setting up all your coverage, including Medicare, Medigap, Part D, and more.
Plus, when you use us to apply, you get unlimited support from our Client Service Team. That means if you have any issues with claims or appeals, we can help at no additional cost. You can compare rates online or give us a call today at the number above.
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What If You Worked 10 Years Or Less
Most people will qualify for coverage by paying Medicare and Social Security taxes for 10 years through any combination of employers. Youll need to have spent 10 years doing taxable work to enroll in Medicare Part A for free. If youve worked for less than 10 years in the US, youll need to pay monthly premiums for Medicare Part A.
However, if your spouse who is 62 or older has enough quarterly credits or receives Social Security benefits, then youll still qualify. You may also be able to qualify based on your spouses work record if youre widowed or divorced.
Get Started With Medicare
Medicare is health insurance for people 65 or older. Youre first eligible to sign up for Medicare 3 months before you turn 65. You may be eligible to get Medicare earlier if you have a disability, End-Stage Renal Disease , or ALS .
Follow these steps to learn about Medicare, how to sign up, and your coverage options. Learn about it at your own pace.
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Applying For Medicare Online
Applying for Medicare online is a quick and easy process on the Social Security website, taking approximately ten minutes. After you have applied for Medicare online, you can check the status of your application and/or appeal, request a replacement card, and print a benefit verification letter.
You can easily apply online for Medicare and Social Security retirement benefits or just Medicare.
Once you apply for Part B, give us a call so we can help you choose a supplement plan to cover what Medicare doesnt.
If youre not comfortable applying for Medicare online, you can do so over the phone.
Can You Sign Up For Medicare After Age 65
Hereâs the gist: you can decide not to sign up for Medicare, but if you donât have some kind of health coverage, youâll be penalized when you do eventually sign up.
If youâve had credible coverage, such as group health insurance through your employer, youâre free to sign up for Medicare with no penalties.
However, if you just chose to put it off for whatever reason, there will be a penalty on your monthly premium, which is 10% for each year that you could have had Part B but didnât sign up for it.
Again â no one likes penalties, so if youâre confused or just want to make sure you have it figured out, please ask our team to review your Medicare plan.
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How Do I Sign Up For Medicare At Age 65 If Im Still Working
Medicare Part A is premium-free for most people but you typically pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B.
So, you may want to delay enrollment in Part B if youre still working and have health insurance through your employer or other organization when you turn 65.
You should check with your plan benefits administrator before you turn 65 to see if your employer coverage changes when you become eligible for Medicare.
If you have the option to choose between Medicare and your employer plan, compare your monthly premiums and benefits before you turn 65 so you know which option makes the best financial sense for you.
Be aware that theres a late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part B if you dont sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period. You may avoid the penalty if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for example, if youre covered under an employment-based group health plan.
Sign Up: Within 8 Months After You Or Your Spouse Stopped Working
Your current coverage might not pay for health services if you dont have both Part A and Part B .
Avoid the penalty & gap in coverageIf you miss this 8-month Special Enrollment Period, youll have to wait to sign up and go months without coverage. You might also pay a monthly penalty for as long as you have Part B. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?
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Should You Wait Until 65 To Sign Up For Medicare
If you wait to sign up right before your 65th birthday , you may go for months without coverage.
Initial Enrollment Period
Your Initial Enrollment Period will last for 7 months. This Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after your birthday month. If you fail to enroll before your birthday month, your coverage will be delayed by a month or more.
General Enrollment Period
Youll have the option to sign up during the General Enrollment Period which falls between January 1 and March 31 every year if you didnt sign up during the Initial Enrollment Period. But youll potentially be charged a late enrollment penalty. Your premiums for Part B will be permanently increased by 10% for each year that you neglected to sign up for Part B and your monthly premiums for Part A will temporarily increase by 10%. As a rule, most people dont pay premiums for Part A, but then again, most people dont delay signing up for Part A. Your coverage will start on July 1, three months after the General Enrollment Period ends.
You may be able to avoid the late enrollment penalty and having to wait for the General Enrollment Period if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Special Enrollment Period
Its important to check with your insurer or HR department to make sure that your coverage is sufficient to postpone Medicare enrollment.