Everything you need to know about Medicare enrollment. Learn how, where and when.
If you are not receiving any Social Security benefits now, before you turn 65 years old you should apply for your Medicare. Medicare enrollment does not happen automatically. You need to contact your Social Security Administration or you can go to any Social Security Office near you or online to sign up. The time to enroll for Medicare is three months before you turn 65. Three months following your birth month, the enrollment period ends.
If you are working still, you may not want to enroll when you turn 65. If your place of employment has insurance that you can participate in, this would still be your primary coverage insurance. Medicare would be the secondary insurance. If this is the case, you can delay Medicare enrollment until you don’t have insurance coverage through your employer. You should always check with the Social Security office to be sure waiting to enroll is the right thing to do.
If you didn’t work enough to qualify you for Medicare benefits, you can “buy in” to the Medicare program. The amount you need to pay will vary and you can contact your Social Security Office to get all the information you need on that.
If you choose to continue being covered under COBRA with your employer, you should take advantage of Medicare Enrollment Parts A and B both during the enrollment period. Usually once you are eligible for Medicare after you select to be covered with COBRA it usually means you cannot continue with the COBRA.
If you don’t enroll during the enrollment period, there is a general Medicare enrollment that goes from January 1 through March 31. Beneficiaries of Medicare who delay their enrollment in Part B will be charged a late penalty of 10 percent for each year they continue to delay enrolling.