Enrolling in Medicare if you are turning 65 and do not receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits

Question 2 of 10 (use "Last" or "Next" buttons to see more)

If you are eligible for Medicare, but not currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits or railroad retirement benefits, there are three different time periods during which you can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.

  1. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). You can enroll in Medicare at anytime during this seven-month period, which includes the three months before, the month of, and the three months following your 65th birthday.
    • If you enroll during the first three months of your IEP, coverage begins the month in which you first become eligible for Medicare.
    • If you enroll during the fourth month of your IEP, coverage begins the month following the month of enrollment.
    • If you enroll during the fifth month of your IEP, coverage begins the second month following the month of enrollment.
    • If you enroll during the sixth or seventh month of your IEP, coverage begins the third month following the month of enrollment.
  2. The date when your Medicare coverage begins depends on when you signed up.

    For example, let's say you turn 65 in June. Use the following chart to determine when you can enroll in Medicare and when your coverage would start.

    You can enroll anytime in: Your coverage starts:
     
    March June 1st
     
    April June 1st
     
    May June 1st
     
    June July 1st
     
    July September 1st
     
    August November 1st
     
    September December 1st
     

     

  3. General Enrollment Period (GEP). If you do not enroll in Medicare or if you refused Medicare when you originally became eligible for it, you can sign up during the GEP, which is from January 1st through March 31st of every year. Your coverage will begin July 1st of the year you sign up. You will have to pay a Part B premium penalty for every year you delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B.  

  4. Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You can delay enrollment in Part B without penalty if you were covered by employer health insurance through your or your spouse's current job when you first become eligible for Medicare. You can enroll in Medicare without penalty at any time while you have group health coverage and for eight months after you lose your group health coverage or you (or your spouse) stop working, whichever comes first.
  5. For example, let's say you retire in February. Use the following chart to determine when you can enroll in Medicare and when your coverage would start.

    You can enroll anytime in: Your coverage starts:
     
    March April 1st
     
    April May 1st
     
    May June 1st
     
    June July 1st
     
    July August 1st
     
    August September 1st
     
    September October 1st
     
    October November 1st
     

    To avoid a gap in coverage, enroll in Medicare the month before your employer coverage will end.


Case Examples
Medicare mistakenly told Mr. S that he was entitled to a Part B Special Enrollment Period.

Related Questions
Can my state give me more rights and protections than federal law regarding Medigap plan enrollment?

Donate Now!
State:  
If you would like to find information specific to your state, press the arrow on the drop down menu to select your state.
 
 
Go to previous question Go to next question
 
GO TO
Getting Original Medicare if you were not automatically enrolled

How do I enroll in the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D)?

Am I eligible for Medicare if I am 65 or over?

Am I eligible for Medicare if I am under 65?

Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty

Enrolling in Medicare Part B if you are 65 or older, still working (or spouse is still working) and have insurance from that job

 
LINKS
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Social Security

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) Directory

 
< Last | Next >