The process for enrolling in Medicare differs from person to person. Some people are automatically enrolled, while others must apply through Social Security. To learn how to begin the Medicare enrollment process, continue reading.
Enrolling In Original Medicare
To enroll in Original Medicare, you must be age 65 or older or be diagnosed with a qualifying disability. Once you’ve met the eligibility requirements, you can enroll by contacting Social Security and submitting an application. After you’ve been approved, you can choose which benefits you are interested in enrolling in.
When To Enroll
You can only enroll in Medicare during specific enrollment periods. The best time to enroll is during your Initial Enrollment Period. The Initial Enrollment Period begins 3 months before you turn 65 and ends 3 months after you turn 65. The period includes your birth month, so it lasts a total of 7 months. During this time, you are free to enroll in whichever Medicare benefits you like.
Other Enrollment Periods
If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you aren’t out of luck. You can still enroll in Medicare during one of the other enrollment periods. These are the other enrollment periods you can use:
- General Enrollment Period – Between January 1st and March 31st of each year, you can enroll in Part A or Part B benefits.
- Special Enrollment Period – Special enrollment periods are unspecified times wherein you are allowed to enroll in Medicare programs. Special enrollment periods are granted to individuals who have special life circumstances that prevented them from enrolling during one of the other enrollment periods.
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