General Enrollment: January 1 To March 31
During this time, you can sign up for parts A and B if both of the following are true:
- You didnt sign up when you were initially eligible .
- You cant enroll during a special enrollment period.
If you enroll during general enrollment, your coverage will begin on July 1. Youll have to pay a premium for parts A and B and may also be subject to a late enrollment penalty.
During this time, you can also switch from a Part C plan back to original Medicare .
When Am I Automatically Enrolled In Medicare Part A
Some people will be automatically enrolled in parts A and B, while others will have to sign up. Youll be automatically enrolled if:
- Youre already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Youll be automatically enrolled on the first day of the month you turn age 65 if youve been receiving these benefits at least 4 months before your birthday.
- Youre less than 65 years old and have a disability. Youll be automatically enrolled after receiving Social Security or RRB disability benefits for 24 months.
- You have ALS. Youll be automatically enrolled the month that youre eligible to receive Social Security or RRB disability benefits.
People who arent receiving Social Security or RRB benefits or who have ESRD will have to . This can be done through the Social Security Administration website.
Below are some important enrollment deadlines related to Medicare parts A and B to keep in mind:
Eligibility For Medicare Part B
You may be eligible for Medicare Part B if youre a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for more than five years and one or more of the following applies to you:
- You are 65 or older.
- You have been on Social Security Disability Insurance for two years.
- You have end-stage renal disease .
If any of the above apply to you, you should have received a Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday, or on your 25th month of disability.
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Can You Enroll In Medicare Before You Turn 65
You may be eligible for Medicare before age 65 if:
- Youve received Social Security Disability Insurance for at least 24 months
- Youll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically starting the first day of your 25th disability month. You should get your Medicare card in the mail three months before this date.
- You have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis , or Lou Gehrigs disease
- Youll get Part A and Part B automatically in the month your SSDI benefits begin.
- You have permanent kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease
- Youll need to sign up for Medicare yourself. Your coverage usually starts the first day of the fourth month of dialysis treatment or in the month youre admitted to a Medicare-certified hospital for a kidney transplant.5
A Word of Advice
If you dont have any other type of health insurance, you should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65.
Additional Information For Those With End
To get the full benefits available under Medicare to cover certain dialysis and kidney transplant services, youll need both Medicare Part A and Part B. .
Your Medicare coverage will generally end:
- 12 months after the month dialysis treatments stop, or
- 36 months after the month of a kidney transplant.
If your condition deteriorates and you require dialysis or a transplant before one of the above periods end, your Medicare benefits may be reinstated.
Content on this site has not been reviewed or endorsed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the United States Government, any state Medicare agency, or any private insurance agency . Eligibility.com is a DBA of Clear Link Technologies, LLC and is not affiliated with any Medicare System Providers.
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Medicare Eligibility For Medicare Advantage Before 65
After youre enrolled in Original Medicare, you may choose to remain with Original Medicare or consider enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan offered by a private, Medicare-approved insurance company.
Medicare eligibility for Medicare Part C works a little differently. Youre eligible for Medicare Advantage plans if you have Part A and Part B and live in the service area of a Medicare Advantage plan. If you have End Stage Renal Disease , you usually cant enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, but there may be some exceptions, such as a Medicare Advantage plan offered by the same insurance company as your employer-based health plan, or a Medicare Special Needs Plan .
When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, youre still in the Medicare program and need to pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium and any premium the plan charges. The Medicare Advantage program offers an alternative way of receiving Original Medicare coverage but may offer additional benefits. For example, Original Medicare doesnt include prescription drug coverage or routine dental/vision care, but a Medicare Advantage plan may include these benefits and more. Benefits, availability and plan costs vary among plans.
New To Medicare?
Becoming eligible for Medicare can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you understand Medicare in 15 minutes or less.
Initial Enrollment: Your 65th Birthday
If youre eligible for Medicare parts A and B when you turn 65 years old, initial enrollment consists of a 7-month period that includes:
- the 3 months before your 65th birthday
- the month of your 65th birthday
- the 3 months after your 65th birthday
If you wont be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B when you turn age 65, you can sign up at any time during initial enrollment. When your coverage starts will depend on when you sign up.
In addition to parts A and B, you can also sign up for a Part D plan during this time.
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Younger Than Age : Who Is Eligible For Medicare
As long as you meet the citizenship/legal residence requirements described above, you may be eligible for Medicare when you are younger than age 65 if one of the following circumstances applies to you:
- You have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months in a row
- You have Lou Gehrigs disease
- You have permanent kidney failure requiring regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. This condition is called end-stage renal disease .
Read more details about enrollment in Medicare when youre under 65.
Medicaid Part B Reimbursement Options
In an effort to promote access to Medicare coverage for low-income adults or those with disabilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services developed a program to help dually eligible individuals with Part B costs. If you’re dually eligible, it means you have both Medicare and Medicaid.
If you qualify, your state will enroll you in Medicare Part B and pay the full Part B premium on your behalf.
In 2019, states paid the monthly Part B premiums for more than 10 million individuals, helping them afford healthcare and enroll in Medicare while freeing up their funds for other necessities. This buy-in ensures Medicare is the primary payer for Medicare-covered services for eligible beneficiaries, helping to reduce overall state healthcare costs.
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Medicare Part D Eligibility
Traditional Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, but coverage for prescriptions is available through Medicare Part D. Like Part C, Part D is administered through private insurance carriers who contract with Medicare. Also like Part C, you must live in the service area served by the Part D plan you choose.
To enroll in Part D coverage, you must be enrolled in either Part A, Part B, or both. These private insurers are approved by Medicare to administer these plans. You can contact your local insurance agent to inquire about Part D coverage or find a provider online through the Medicare.gov website.
Can You Get Medicare If You Never Worked
Yes, you can get Medicare if youve never worked, but youll have to pay a monthly premium. In 2020, Part A monthly premiums are up to $471 for seniors who paid Medicare taxes for less than seven years and six months, or 30 employment quarters. Seniors who paid Medicare taxes up to nine years and nine months, or 39 employment quarters, pay $259 for a Part A monthly premium.4
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Are You Eligible For Medicare Part A And Part B
In most cases, Medicare eligibility is straightforward. But there are some situations where a client may not have the required 40 Social Security work credits to be eligible for Medicare. While this is an uncommon situation, it is far from rare. There are many follow-up questions that should be asked of the client to determine if they are eligible for Medicare.
To help make this easier, we have created the Am I Eligible For Medicare Part A and Part B flowchart. It addresses some of the most common Medicare eligibility issues that arise:
- Eligibility if disabled
- Eligibility if a client has less than 40 work credits
- Situations that require a premium for Medicare Part A
Please let us know if you have any questions about your eligibility or retirement income planning. We are here to help!
This information is intended for educational purposes, and it is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products, or services.
What Do I Need To Qualify For Medicare
Medicare coverage is for adults 65 and older and those with certain qualifying medical conditions or disabilities. To qualify, you would need proof of age, proof of income , residency or citizenship documentation, and more. Since Medicare is a government insurance program, anyone aged 65 or older can apply and receive insurance through this program.
Medicare premiums are based on your income and your work history. The eligibility requirements for Medicare Part A are very simple. If you or your spouse worked and paid Social Security taxes for ten or more years, your Medicare Part A premium is free. If not, you will pay a monthly premium for Part AMedicare Part A is hospital coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. It covers inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It also covers limited home healthcare services and hospice care…..
With Part BMedicare Part B is medical coverage for people with Original Medicare benefits. It covers doctor visits, preventative care, tests, durable medical equipment, and supplies. Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of most medically necessary healthcare…, all Medicare beneficiaries pay a monthly Part B premium, however, if you are a high-income earner you will pay a little more. You can find the current schedule on this Medicare.gov page.
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When Are The Medicare Part A Enrollment Deadlines
For the most part, signing up for Medicare Part A depends on when you turn age 65.
You have a 7-month time period during which you can enroll. You can enroll as early as 3 months before your birth month, during your birth month, and up to 3 months after your 65th birthday.
If you dont enroll during this time period, you could face financial penalties that result in you having to pay more for your healthcare coverage. This also delays how fast your Medicare benefits begin.
You can sign up for Medicare Part A during the general enrollment period from January 1 to March 31, but you may face penalty fees.
How To Qualify For Both Medicare And Medicaid
Medicare is health insurance for adults aged 65 or older and those with certain disabilities. Many people are surprised to learn that Medicare is not end-to-end healthcare. In fact, from the beginning, Medicare was designed to cover only about 80 percent of a beneficiarys major medical expenses. All other costs, typically in the form of deductiblesA deductible is an amount a beneficiary must pay for their health care expenses before the health insurance policy begins to pay its share…., coinsuranceCoinsurance is a percentage of the total you are required to pay for a medical service. …, and copaymentsA copayment, also known as a copay, is a set dollar amount you are required to pay for a medical service…., are the beneficiarys responsibility.
When a beneficiaryA person who has health care insurance through the Medicare or Medicaid programs…. cannot afford some or all of these costs, due to limited income at or below the federal poverty level, theres MedicaidMedicaid is a public health insurance program that provides health care coverage to low-income families and individuals in the United States….. Medicaid provides healthcare assistance for low-income families and individuals. Medicaid beneficiaries pay very low copays when receiving care under this program.
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Do I Automatically Get Medicare When I Turn 65
Some people automatically get Medicare at age 65, but those numbers have declined as the Medicare and Social Security ages have continued to drift apart.
Most people who automatically get Medicare at age 65 do so because they have been receiving Social Security benefits for at least four months before turning 65. Traditionally, Medicare premiums are deducted from your Social Security check. For the longest time, you could retire with full Social Security benefits at 65 and start on Medicare at the same time.
You are still automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 if youre drawing Social Security, but not as many people draw Social Security that early these days because of changes to the eligibility age for full Social Security benefits.
In 2000, the Social Security Amendments of 1983 began pushing back the standard age for full Social Security benefits. The progressive changes are nearing their conclusion: Beginning in 2022, the standard age for full benefits will be 67 for anyone born after 1960.
Besides the Medicare eligibility age of 65, what remains unchanged is that you can opt to begin drawing partial Social Security benefits as early as age 62. So, if you opt for accepting partial Social Security benefits before age 65, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare.
A smaller group of people also automatically get Medicare at age 65: people who receive Railroad Board benefits for at least four months before 65.
Who Is Eligible For Medicare Part D
Before you can take advantage of a Part D plan, you must first be eligible to sign up. There are specific criteria you need to meet in order to qualify for the program.
To be eligible for Part D, you must first be eligible for Medicare at large. The rules for Medicare eligibility are straightforward. Beyond that, there are other specific rules for enrolling in Part D that you need to know.
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How To Sign Up For Medicare Part A
Many people are automatically enrolled when they qualify, while others have to sign up for it. In general, it depends on whether you’re receiving Social Security benefits. You may, for example, be enrolled automatically in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B if you:
- Have received benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least four months before you turn 65.
- Have received Social Security benefits for at least 24 months.
- Have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. You will automatically get Medicare Parts A and B when your disability benefits start.
If you have end-stage renal disease , you’re eligible for Medicare and can enroll in Parts A and B or in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you choose Original Medicare , you will need both parts to get the full benefits available with Medicare to cover certain dialysis and kidney transplant services. If you’re interested in a Medicare Advantage Plan, be sure to check that the healthcare providers you currently see or want to see in the future, are in the plan’s network.
If you aren’t automatically enrolled in Medicare and you’ll be eligible when you turn 65, you should sign up through Social Security during your initial enrollment period. This is a seven-month period that:
- Starts three months before the month you turn 65.
- Includes the month you turn 65.
- Ends three months after the month you turn 65.
What Is Medicare Part A When Can You Enroll
You can sign up for Part A:
- During your Initial Enrollment Period , if youre not automatically enrolled, or
- At any time after youre first eligible. If you qualify for premium-free Part A, you wont have a penalty if you enroll past your IEP.6
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What Happens When You Turn 65
- If you already receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board , youll be automatically enrolled in traditional Medicare, aka Original Medicare. This consists of Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance. Your Medicare coverage usually starts the first day of the month you turn 65. You should expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday.
- If you dont receive Social Security or RRB benefits, youll need to enroll. You can sign up for Medicare with Social Security online, over the phone, or in person. You should enroll as soon as your Medicare eligibility period begins, even if youre not ready to receive Social Security retirement benefits.3
- If you dont have any other type of health insurance, you should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65. But if youre still working and you have health insurance through an employer or union, you may not have to enroll in Part B. We talk more about delaying Part B enrollment below.