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When Do My Medicare Benefits Start

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When Does Medicare Start – Medicare Timelines

Medicare will automatically start when you turn 65 if youve received Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months prior to your 65th birthday.

Youll automatically be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 if you get benefit checks. According to the Social Security Administration, more than 30% of seniors claim Social Security benefits early.1 For those seniors, Medicare Part A and Part B will automatically start when they reach the age of 65.

When do You Get Your Medicare Card?

You can expect to receive your Medicare card in the mail three months before your birthday. Your Medicare card will come with a complete enrollment package that includes basic information about your coverage. Your card wont be usable until you turn 65, even though youll receive the card before that time.

What Are Your Costs?

Keep in mind that youll still have to pay the usual costs of Medicare, even though youre automatically enrolled. Once your Medicare is active, the cost of your Part B premium will be deducted from your Social Security or RRB benefits.

What If You Already Enrolled in Medicare?

What about Medicare Supplement ?

What If I Switch to Medicare Advantage?

And if you want to switch to Medicare Advantage , youll have a one-time Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65 and lasts for 7 months.

What I Have Part A?

Employer Or Military Retiree Coverage

If you or your spouse has an Employer Group Health Plan as retiree health coverage from an employer or the military , you may not need additional insurance. Review the EGHPs costs and benefits and contact your employer benefits representative or SHIIP to learn how your coverage works with Medicare.

When To Choose A Medicare Advantage Plan

You can enroll, switch, or cancel a Medicare health plan during the following times:

  • Initial Enrollment Period: March, April, or May
  • Open EnrollmentIn health insurance, open enrollment is a period during which a person may enroll in or change their selection of health plan benefits. Health plan enrollment is ordinarily subject to restrictions…. Period: October 15 December 7
  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: January 1 March 31

During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, you can switch to another health insurance plan or go back to your Original Medicare health insurance. If you switch Medicare Advantage plans or go back to Original Medicare , your new coverage will begin on the first day of the month after your new plan gets your request for coverage.

Keep in mind, if you go back to Original Medicare you may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement policy. Once you cancel a Medigap plan, the insurer has the right to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions. You only have a guaranteed issue rightGuaranteed-issue is a right granted to Medicare beneficiaries and applies to Medicare Supplement insurance . All states and the federal government enforce this essential right, which protects Medicare beneficiaries from medical underwriting…. when you first qualify for Medicare.

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Sign Up: Within 8 Months After The Active Duty Service Member Retires

  • Most people dont have to pay a premium for Part A . So, you might want to sign up for Part A when you turn 65, even if the active duty service member is still working.
  • Youll pay a monthly premium for Part B , so you might want to wait to sign up for 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?

Important Medicare Dates To Remember

How FEHB and Medicare Work Together in Retirement

It’s important to be aware of the different enrollment periods for Medicare, which may vary depending on the type of plan you get and your birthday. Enrolling during those periods can help you reduce health care costs. Other important dates include your coverage start dates and your window for switching or updating your plan.

On This Page

Timeliness is important when it comes to enrolling in and shopping for Medicare plans.

Signing up for Medicare during enrollment periods allows you to get coverage at the optimal price. Missing certain enrollment dates may mean higher premiums, late penalties and fewer plan options.

Once your Medicare coverage starts, managing your plan involves being aware of appointment dates and notice periods.

To help you keep track of when enrollment periods and other Medicare activities take place, this guide highlights 10 important Medicare dates to remember.

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Why Is It Important

Once you or your dependent are eligible for Medicare, your benefits under the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust will be paid as if you have Medicare coverage, whether or not you are enrolled. Enrolling in Part A and Part B will allow you to avoid paying additional out-of-pocket medical expenses. The Trust will not pay amounts that Medicare would have paid. You will be responsible for paying these amounts.

If you enroll in Part A and/or B the month you turn 65 or during the last three months of your initial Enrollment Period, the start date for your Medicare coverage will be delayed.

Surviving Spouses age 65 or older must enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B in order to be eligible for health care coverage provided by the Trust. In the event of the retirees death, the surviving spouse will not be eligible for coverage unless he or she is enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, if eligible.

How Do I Get Full Medicare Benefits

If youve worked at least 10 years while paying Medicare taxes, there is no monthly premium for your Medicare Part A benefits. But if you havent worked, or worked less than 10 years, you may qualify for premium-free Part A when your spouse turns 62, if she or he has worked at least 10 years while paying Medicare taxes. However, to be eligible for Medicare, you need to be 65 years old. You also need to be an American citizen or legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years.

So, to summarize with an example:

  • Bob is 65 years old. Hes on Medicare, but he pays a monthly premium for his Medicare Part A benefits. He only worked for seven years and no longer works.
  • His wife, Mary, has worked for over 30 years.

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How Much Does Medicare Cost

One of the biggest misunderstandings about the Medicare program is its costs. It is not free and it does not cover everything.

All Medicare beneficiaries pay a monthly premium for their medical coverage . The premium is based on your annual income. High-income earners pay a little more than those with a lower income. For 2022, the basic Part B monthly premium is $170.10. For high-income earners, the rate is between $238.10 and $578.30 per month.

Some Medicare Advantage plans do not have an additional monthly premium but, you must continue paying your Medicare Part B premium. When a Medicare Advantage plan has a $0 premium it simply means that what you pay for your Medicare Part B each month covers the full cost of the private insurance plan.

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance and is available at no cost to people who worked and paid Medicare taxes for ten or more years. If you did not pay Medicare taxes for a full ten years , you must pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Part A benefits. The amount you pay is based on the number of quarters you paid Medicare taxes. The more you paid in the past, the less youll pay for your premiums.

Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance

Stay on work insurance or start Medicare?

With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B . Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.

If youre eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.

If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B and then decide to do so later, your coverage could be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium will go up 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B, but didnt sign up for it, unless you qualify for a “” .

If you dont enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, you have another chance each year to sign up during a general enrollment period from January 1 through March 31. Your coverage begins on July 1 of the year you enroll. Read our publication for more information.

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How To Start Medicare As Soon As Possible

Medicare coverage can start as early as the first day of the month in which you turn 65, unless you were born on the first of the month. In that case, your coverage can begin on the first day of the previous month.

People who are automatically enrolled will get coverage as soon as its available. If you have to enroll yourself, you should sign up in the three months before your birthday. You have seven months around your birthday to enroll for the first time this is whats known as your initial enrollment period. But waiting until your birthday month or the three months afterward to sign up can delay the start of your coverage.

Sign Up: Within 8 Months After Your Family Member Stops Working

  • If you have Medicare due to a disability or ALS , youll already have Part A .
  • Youll pay a monthly premium for Part B , so you may want to wait to sign up for 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 until you turn 65. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?

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Can I Start Medicare Before My 65th Birthday

You will have a Medicare initial enrollment period. If you sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B during the first three months of your initial enrollment period, your coverage will start on the first day of the month you turn 65.

For example, say your birthday is August 31. Your initial enrollment period will begin three months prior to your birthday month, or in this case, May. If you sign up in May, June, or July, your coverage will start on August 1.

Coordinating Start Dates For Medicare Advantage Or Drug Coverage And Medicare

Medicare Advantage vs. Medigap

Same as above. Once you learn your Original Medicare effective date, youll want to apply for Medicare Advantage prior to that date, so that you have the coverage you desire.

  • If you have delayed Part B, your start date will be different from above, as will your Medicare Advantage and Medigap effective dates
  • If you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage and want to switch to Medigap,
  • If you are enrolled in Medigap and Switch to Medicare Advantage,
  • Dont forget to coordinate your Part D drug plan enrollment with your Original Medicare
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  • New to Medicare: Everything you need to know. Medicare is the United States federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older, as well as people with certain disabilities or End Stage Renal Disease .
  • Medicare Insurance Switching: Ultimate Guide With so many different plans, carriers, deductibles and what not, picking the wrong plan happens. A lot. Check out your options.

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In What Month Does Medicare Coverage Begin

Medicare coverage begins the first day of the month in which you turn 65 if you sign up during your initial enrollment period. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, it starts the first day of the previous month.

If you sign up during your initial enrollment period but after your 65th birthday, your Medicare coverage will typically start up to three months after you sign up. As mentioned above, if you sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B during the Jan. 1 March 31 general enrollment period, your coverage will start July 1.

Will I Get Medicare At 62 If I Retire Then

If you retire before the age of 65, you may be able to continue to get medical insurance coverage through your employer, or you can purchase coverage from a private insurance company until you turn 65. While waiting for Medicare enrollment eligibility, you may contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program to discuss your options.

Here are some ways you may be eligible for Medicare at age 62:

  • You may qualify for Medicare due to a disability if you have been receiving SSDI checks for more than 24 months.
  • You have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease .
  • You are getting dialysis treatments or have had a kidney transplant.

Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealths Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage. Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.

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Sign Up: Within 8 Months After You Or Your Spouse Stop Working

  • Most people dont have to pay a premium for Part A . So, you may want to sign up for Part A when you turn 65, even if you or your spouse are still working.
  • Youll pay a monthly premium for Part B , so you may want to wait to sign up for 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?

You Are Also Eligible For Medicaid

How to Start Medicare in 2021

There are Medicare plans specifically designed for people who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Dual Special Needs Plan are a special kind of Medicare Advantage Plan that combine Parts A, B and D Medicaid, and extra benefits such as dental and vision.

Your Medicare coverage choices need to fit your health needs, lifestyle and budget. You will have a chance to review your coverage, and make changes each year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, Oct. 15 Dec. 7.

Sign Up for Your Medicare GuideYou’ll get timely emails with important information to help you navigate your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period as smoothly as possible.

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During Your Initial Enrollment Period

This lasts for seven months, of which the fourth one is the month in which you turn 65. For example, if your 65th birthday is in June, your IEP begins March 1 and ends Sept. 30.

To avoid late penalties and delayed coverage, you need to sign up for Medicare during your IEP in these circumstances:

  • You have no other health insurance
  • You have health insurance that you bought yourself
  • You have retiree benefits from a former employer
  • You have COBRA coverage that extends the insurance you or your spouse received from an employer while working
  • You have veterans benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs health system
  • Youre in a nonmarital domestic relationship with someone of the same or opposite sex and you are covered by his or her employer insurance

If you enroll during the first three months of your IEP, your Medicare coverage begins on the first day of the month you turn 65 . If you sign up during the fourth month, coverage begins on the first day of the following month. But if you leave it until the fifth, sixth or seventh month, coverage will be delayed by two or three months. For example, if your birthday is in June and you sign up in September , coverage will not begin until Dec. 1.

Exceptions To The 65 And Older Rule

For people who received SSDI for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis , commonly known as Lou Gehrigs disease, Medicare starts automatically in the first month they receive their SSDI benefit. These beneficiaries do not need to wait 24 months. Additionally, patients with late-stage renal failure may not need to wait for 24 months either. Those with End-Stage Renal DiseaseEnd-Stage Renal Disease , also known as kidney failure, is a condition that causes you to need dialysis or a kidney transplant. People with ESRD are eligible for Medicare coverage regardless of age…. who have had a transplant or receive dialysis treatments would need to be on SSDI to qualify for Medicare.

Additionally, retired railroad workers also qualify for Medicare. This program works a little differently, but the end result is that they are insured through Medicare. The Railroad Retirement Board is who would process your application as opposed to the Social Security office. If you already receive RRB checks, you would be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65. If you do not receive checks yet when you turn 65, you can apply for Medicare directly through the RRB office.

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