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Medicare Initial Enrollment Period

Medicare health benefits could be more beneficial if you better understand when and how you need to enroll in them. If you are not automatically registered for original Medicare part A and part B when you first become eligible, you can enroll during a seven-month period that starts 3 months earlier when you turn 65 and at the same time finishes 3 months later when you turn 65.

Automatic Enrollment for Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)

When you are taking Railroad benefits, social security, or are about to get retirement at the age of 65 you will have an automatic subscription of Medicare part A and part B. If you are eligible for social security benefits, your hospital insurance registration will be automatic whereas you need to sign up for part B when you are about to apply for retiral advantages. You will get the Medicare card three months before you turn 65. Most people get free Medicare part A registration if they have paid taxes while working for straight 10 years (40 quarters). Whereas, you will have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare part B. Usually, people avoid enrolling for part B or delay their subscription for part B as they are already covered by another health plan from their employer.

Whenever you first get eligible for Medicare part B registration you will have to enroll if you are not covered by any other insurance plan. In another case, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty depending upon the duration from which you are eligible for part B. If you are having employer-based or your spouse’s employer-based coverage you will get a chance to subscribe to Medicare special enrollment period whenever your insurance plan ends. This special subscription period allows you to register without paying a penalty.

When you are taking Social security or Railroad Benefits

Your subscription will be automatic if you are taking social security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for at least 24 months. In this case, the Medicare card is mailed three months before the 25th month of disability benefits. There is another case in which you automatically get registered in the Original Medicare. This happens when you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the subscription starts in the same month when your disability advantages start.

If the person is suffering from end-stage renal disease and needs regular dialysis or kidney transplant you will get an automatic subscription before turning 65. For subscribing to the Original Medicare in case of ESRD, you do not need to qualify for Social security disability benefits.

When to Enroll for Medicare: Initial Enrollment Period

When you do not qualify for automatic registration, there is Medicare initial entitlement period that initiates 3 months earlier from your 65th birthday and finishes 3 months after your 65th birthday. You can sign up for original Medicare during this period. If you are not getting retirement at the standard age you can still subscribe to your Medicare insurance plan during IEP. You can sign up, later on, to receive social security retirement as when you apply through social security you can only apply for Medicare. However, if you are not qualified for retiral advantages because of a lack of work history you are still eligible to subscribe for Medicare and can utilize this IEP for registration. In this case, you may have to pay a premium as you are unable to get a premium-free subscription for Medicare part A. You also have to pay a monthly premium for Medicare part B as well and the premium amount varies for both depending upon the work history and Medicare taxes paid.

What to do if you miss your Initial Enrollment Period

If you miss your IEP for any reason you can subscribe during the general registration period that starts from 1st of January and ends on 31st March. If you fail to sign up for part A or part B when you first get eligible you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty. In addition to signing up for coverage, you can also change your insurance plan during this period.

Medicare Cards

To enroll in original Medicare you can contact social security or Railroad Retirement Board. When you subscribe for Medicare you will receive a Medicare card in red, blue, or white color showing that which plan (i.e. part A or part B) you possess. If you’ve lost your card, you can apply for a replacement and contact the social security toll-free number.

When Medicare Coverage Begins

Medicare coverage begins depending upon your circumstances as if you are receiving retiral benefits your insurance will start in the first month when you turn 65. In case of missing IEP, when you enroll in GEP, your insurance starts from July 1st. When you are taking social security benefits or railroad retirement advantages your coverage starting date will be allotted by their administration. When you apply during IEP your starting date depends upon the month in which you register for Medicare part A or part B.


Is enrollment in Medicare automatically at 65?

If you are taking social security benefits or railroad retirement board benefits you will be automatically registered in Medicare part A or part B at the age of 65. If you are not taking social security benefits at the time of your retirement you will have to sign up for original Medicare part A or part B. Medicare might not give an alert about your eligibility to subscribe so you should take notice of your initial entitlement period and sign up on time. You should prefer to subscribe to Medicare immediately when you are eligible as subscribing in your birthday month or after this then your start date could be delayed. You’ll receive Medicare cards before your 65th birthday.

When can I enroll in Medicare?

Most people can enroll for Medicare part A and part B immediately when they get eligible for it at retirement age. They can subscribe to Medicare’s initial entitlement period that starts three months before your 65thbirthday. Few people have exceptional conditions of life depending upon which they can enroll before reaching retirement age. Like if you are having end-stage renal disease and need regular dialysis or kidney transplant, then you have an opportunity to subscribe anytime. Other than ESRD if you are having a disability or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis you can enroll before reaching retirement age.

What happens if I miss my Initial enrollment period?

This period starts three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after your 5th birthday. This is the standard time in which you can subscribe for a premium-free Original Medicare part A or part B program. If you miss out on this period, you can subscribe during the general entitlement period. GEP starts on 1st January of every year and ends on 31st March. It provides you an opportunity to start or change the Medicare plan coverage. The exception for subscribing in this period is that you will have to pay a penalty of 10% of your premium for part A or part B. The coverage will start on the 1st of July when you sign up during GEP.

How do I know which parts of Medicare I need?

Having detailed information is necessary before registering yourself for any insurance program. Depending upon your life conditions, program information, and advantages provided by the plan you can subscribe to it. You should consider your life situations first like lifestyle needs, health conditions, and prescription drug use, and employment status. If you are automatically registered in original Medicare, you still have an IEP to change the coverage. Original Medicare does not provide every benefit you need so you can change your plan’s coverage depending upon your requirements.