In order to enroll for Medicare, you must:
- Be at least 65-years-old.
- Exceptions are made for people with a qualifying condition or disability.
- Be a permanent or legal resident of the United States of America.
Many people are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A & B). However, you can enroll on your own.
You will likely be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare if you meet the following criteria:
- You are turning 65 and are currently receiving Social Security benefits or benefits through the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).
- You are under 65, disabled, and have been receiving Social Security or RBB benefits for over 24 months.
FACTIf you are eligible for automatic Medicare enrollment, you will receive a Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday.
If you don’t want Medicare Part B (medical services) coverage, which requires you to pay an additional premium, please follow the instructions on the back of the card to opt-out.
If you are not automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A & B), you need to manually apply during one of the three designated enrollment periods.
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
- The Initial Enrollment Period is seven months long.
- It starts three months before the month that you turn 65 and continues three months after your birthday month.
- For example, if you turn 65 on June 5, your IEP starts on March 1st and ends on September 30th.
General Enrollment Period (GEP)
- The General Enrollment Period is for those people that did not sign up for Original Medicare (Part A or B) during the Initial Enrollment Period and are not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
- The GEP lasts from January 1 to March 31 of each year. However, you may end up paying a higher premium and will not receive coverage until July 1 of that year.
FACTYou should apply as early as possible.
- If you apply before the month of your 65th birthday, coverage will start immediately.
- If you apply during your birthday month or later, there will be a delay in receiving your Medicare benefits.