How & When does one enroll, sign up for Medicare?
Part A – Hospital, usually for no premium and
I won’t go into a lot of detail here as:
CA Health Line 10.27.2016 and
Medicare has done an excellent job of explaining how and when to enroll in their:
Guide Medicare & You,
Publication 11036 Enrolling in Parts A & B,
Videos on the right and their
The best time to sign up is 3 months before your 65th birthday and coverage will start on the 1st of the month of your birthday. Be sure to let your prior carrier know at least 30 days in advance. Especially if it’s Covered CA! That way you don’t have double premiums and duplicate coverage.
Once you enroll in Parts A & B, you are then eligible to get a Medi Gap Plan and part D Rx or Medicare Advantage (HMO) to fill in the gaps that Medicare doesn’t pay. Please note that prescription drug coverage is mandatory with a penalty when you eventually sign up, if you didn’t sign up when you are supposed to.
What is a better choice for Me?
A different Insurance Agent’s Pod Cast on Medicare Supplements & Advantage Plans Be careful – it’s annoying that the sound starts immediately
Sample Medicare Card
|When to enroll in Medicare|
When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.
For example, if you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:
If you have to buy Part A and/or Part B, you can only sign up during a valid enrollment period.
If you wait until the month you turn 65 (or the 3 months after you turn 65) to enroll, your Part B coverage will be delayed. This could cause a gap in your coverage.
In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You’ll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B and could have a gap in your health coverage.
Child & Sibling Pages
Please use the menu features of our website
- No charge for Part A Hospital qualification rules
- Age 65 but not enough credits to enroll or for free coverage
- Original Medicare & Supplement vs Medicare Advantage MAPD
- Part B – Doctors – How to sign up
- Employment Coverage vs Medicare Parts A, B & D
- Part B Doctor Visits – Late Enrollment Penalty
- What if I can’t afford the Part B Premium of $134/month?
Between January 1–March 31 each year
You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year if both of these apply:
- You didn’t sign up when you were first eligible.
- You aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (see below).
You must pay premiums for Part A and/or Part B. Your coverage will start July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part Aand/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B.
To sign up for Part B, complete an Application for Enrollment in Part B (CMS-40B). Get this form and instructions in Spanish. If you don’t have Medicare or you want to sign up for Part A (some people have to pay a premium for Part A), contact Social Security.
Special circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods)
Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have the chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you’re covered under a group health plan based on current employment, you have a SEP to sign up for Part A and/or Part B anytime as long as:
- You or your spouse (or family member if you’re disabled) is working.
- You’re covered by a group health plan through the employer or union based on that work.
You also have an 8-month SEP to sign up for Part A and/or Part B that starts at one of these times (whichever happens first):
- The month after the employment ends
- The month after group health plan insurance based on current employment ends
Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a SEP.
COBRA and retiree health plans aren’t considered coverage based on current employment. You’re not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when that coverage ends. This Special Enrollment Period also doesn’t apply to people who are eligible for Medicare based on having End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) based on your or your spouse’s current employment, you may be eligible for an SEP. To avoid a tax penalty, you should stop contributing to your HSA at least 6 months before you apply for Medicare. You can withdraw money from your HSA after you enroll in Medicare to help pay for medical expenses (like deductibles, premiums, coinsurance or copayments).
You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for Part A and Part B if you’re a volunteer, serving in a foreign country.