I’m Turning 65. When Do I Apply for Medicare?
If you’re approaching your 65th birthday, you’ve probably been thinking about Medicare coverage and when you should apply. And if you haven’t thought about it yet, don’t worry — here are the essential facts you need to know.
Although Medicare covers people age 65 and older, you don’t have to wait until your 65th birthday to enroll. The Initial Enrollment Period starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after you turn 65. During this time, you can submit your Medicare application to the Social Security Administration and shop around for plans.
Signing up isn’t complicated, and doing it during the Initial Enrollment Period can help you avoid gaps in coverage or penalty fees. While it’s best to enroll during the Initial Enrollment Period, you have a few other options if you miss that window:
- The General Medicare Enrollment Period for Original Medicare (Part A and B) is January 1-March 31. Coverage starts July 1.
- You can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or PDP when you first sign up for Medicare. If you miss that chance, the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans is October 15-December 7. You can also drop or change your coverage during this period.
- You can enroll during a Special Enrollment Period if you meet specific requirements.
If you’re interested in learning whether Medicare is right for you, we’re ready to help. Are you ready to talk to one of our specialists about Medicare plans? Please call us at 305.541.5366 to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Medicare plans offered through Leon Health.