Turning 65 is a big life event, and thousands of baby boomers are doing it every day. *Here’s what you need to know right off the bat:
- You must be 65 to enroll in Medicare—your spouse’s age doesn’t count.
- You may enroll in Medicare even if you’re not collecting Social Security yet.
- You may enroll in Medicare even if you work past age 65 and have employer coverage, or you are 65 and have coverage through your spouse’s employer.
When to Enroll in Medicare
Your first chance to sign up for Medicare is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). It happens around your 65th birthday and lasts a total of 7 months. It includes your birthday month plus the 3 months before and the 3 months after. It’s best to sign up early to avoid gaps in coverage and late enrollment penalties.
You may be enrolled in Medicare automatically if you currently receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. You’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail a few months before your 65th birthday. You still have an IEP during which you may make Medicare coverage decisions.
You may be eligible for Medicare before age 65 if you have a qualifying disability. Eligibility usually starts after you’ve received disability benefits for 24 months.
Here’s what you need to know:
- You’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail a few weeks before your eligibility date.
- Your coverage starts the first day of the month you receive your 25th disability check.
- You still have an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) when you may make decisions about your Medicare coverage.
Your IEP is 7 months long. It includes your 25th month of disability, the 3 months before and the 3 months after.
Information from: https://www.medicaremadeclear.com/basics