If you have recently become eligible for Medicare, you may be curious about when you can enroll in Part A and Part B benefits. Unfortunately, you cannot enroll in Medicare benefits whenever you want, but you can enroll during specific periods of the year called enrollment periods. It’s easier to sign up when you first become eligible, but if you don’t, you can still enroll during the General Enrollment Period.
How to Enroll in Medicare
Enrolling in Medicare involves applying for Medicare benefits then signing up for Part A and/or Part B benefits. To apply for Medicare, you must reach out to the Social Security Administration and submit the appropriate documents. Once you’ve been approved, you can begin the enrollment process. Keep in mind that some people automatically qualify for Medicare and won’t need to apply to receive benefits.
The Best Time to Enroll in Medicare
If you plan to enroll in Medicare, the best time to do so is around the time you first become eligible for the program. Three months before your 65th birthday or 25th month of receiving social security disability benefits, your Initial Enrollment Period begins. It lasts for seven months total, including the month of your 65th birthday and the three months that follow. During this time, you are free to enroll in any Medicare-related programs you like.
You may choose to enroll in both Parts A and Part B, or just Part A. Though, if you wait, you may be subject to late enrollment penalties in the future. If you have already started receiving retirements before turning 65, you could be automatically enrolled during the first month you are eligible. Though, this will likely only be the case if you’ve worked for at least ten years and paid Medicare taxes.
What If You Miss the Initial Enrollment Period?
If you miss your initial enrollment period, you still have other options for Medicare enrollment. For instance, if you recently experienced a unique life circumstance, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Though, if you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, the General Enrollment Period will likely be the only time you can sign up for Medicare benefits.
How to Qualify For a Special Enrollment Period
If you have special circumstances, you can sign up for Medicare outside of the traditional enrollment periods. The rules for what you can do during a Special Enrollment Period vary based on the reason why you qualified for the Special Enrollment Period. A Special Enrollment Period may also allow you to avoid late enrollment penalties in some cases. To learn whether you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, please contact the talented insurance professionals at Kannonball Insurance.
When Is The General Enrollment Period For Medicare?
The General Enrollment Period for Medicare occurs every year between January 1st and March 31st. If you enroll in Medicare during the General Enrollment Period, you may be subject to late enrollment penalties. You could experience a coverage gap too, as your benefits will not begin until July 1st.
Enrolling During The General Enrollment Period
Some people choose not to enroll in Medicare during their Initial Enrollment Period because they don’t want to pay Part A or Part B premiums. They may also choose to delay enrollment because they already have health insurance through another source. If you need to enroll during the General Enrollment Period, you can, but check with an insurance agent to determine whether you will have to pay late enrollment penalties.
Don’t enroll in Medicare without help from a qualified insurance professional. Kannonball Insurance is ready for your call. We will answer all of your Medicare questions, so contact us now for a free consultation.