Most people become eligible for Medicare insurance when they turn 65. What period you should enroll in will differ depending on a couple of scenarios, but it is always recommended that you enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
Is your 65th birthday around the corner, but you’re still unsure which Medicare enrollment period would be best for you to enroll in? This article discusses the common scenarios on how to sign up for Medicare at 65 so you can feel more informed.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare at 65 if I’m Already Receiving Social Security Benefits?
Suppose you are already getting Social Security benefits. In that case, you’ll be automatically registered for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. If you qualify for automatic Medicare enrollment, you’ll receive in the mail your Medicare card. This will come about three months before your coverage actually starts. You will also receive a letter that explains how Medicare works.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare at 65 if I’m Not Receiving Social Security Benefits?
In this case, there is a certain step that you must take to sign up for Medicare. If you’re not yet receiving Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits when you become eligible for Medicare or haven’t paid Medicare taxes for up to 40 quarters in which you or your spouse worked, generally, you wouldn’t be able to enroll in Medicare automatically. You will need to enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, which begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. This is the best period to enroll in when you become eligible, as it will prevent you from paying out late enrollment penalties if you were to delay your enrollment.
To enroll in Medicare, you can either go to the Social Security website to apply online or visit your local Social Security office to enroll.
How Do I Enroll in Medicare at 65 if I’m Still Working?
If you are still working after you turn 65, there are certain things you need to put into consideration when it comes to signing up for Medicare. Before signing up for Medicare, it is advised you talk with your employer about your coverage. You need to know if your employer health insurance qualifies as creditable health coverage that allows you to delay enrolling in Medicare. You may also want to understand how your employer’s health insurance may work with Medicare.
The Medicare Part A premium is free for most. However, you’ll need to pay the Medicare Part B monthly premium. So, you do have the option to delay Medicare Part B enrollment if you are still working and just enroll in Part A. Depending on how many employees are with your company, your employer insurance could either be primary or secondary insurance to Medicare. If it’s primary, that means it will cover your costs first, then Medicare will cover what’s left. If it’s secondary, that means Medicare will provide coverage first, then your employer insurance will kick in.
Note that Medicare may subject you to late enrollment penalties if you don’t have creditable coverage and you delay enrolling in Medicare.
There is definitely a lot to take in when it comes to Medicare, but that’s why we’re here! We’ll keep you updated and informed on all things Medicare so you can make as many informed decisions as possible. For more information about Medicare enrollment, do not hesitate to contact Medicare Sharks.