Enrolling in Medicare
The best time to enroll in Medicare is during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is a seven-month period that begins 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65.
You can enroll in Original Medicare in the following ways:
- Online at www.SocialSecurity.gov.
- By calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users 1-800-0778), Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 7PM.
- In-person at your local Social Security office.
Medicare Annual Election Period
The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), more commonly referred to as Medicare Open Enrollment, takes place every year between October 15 and December 7. During this period of time you can drop, add or switch your Medicare plans.
Medicare plans change each year. And while you may be happy with your current coverage, you could end up paying more than you need or missing out on important benefits. It’s important you properly prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment begins to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Enrolling in Medigap & Medicare Advantage
It’s recommended that you enroll in Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement insurance during your IEP. This way, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge you more due to your health.
Medicare Supplement insurance has its own initial enrollment period which lasts six months and begins on the first day of the month in which you are 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
What if I Don’t Need Medicare, Yet?
If you’re turning 65 and you’re still covered under a group health plan, it’s recommended that you still sign up for Medicare Part A during your IEP. Most people don’t have to pay a monthly premium for Part A.
You can wait to enroll in Medicare Part B. When your current insurance ends, you’ll be eligible for an eight-month Special Enrollment Period during which you can enroll in Medicare Part B as well as Medigap or Medicare Advantage.