When Does My Medicare Coverage Begin?
Do you get the question, “when does my Medicare coverage begin? “ It seems many people are not aware of when their Medicare coverage begins. The general misconception is that Medicare coverage automatically starts when one attains the age of 65 years. While this may be true in many cases, it is not always the case.
Do the Enrollment Periods Affect when My Medicare Coverage Begin?
Yes. The period when you enroll in a Medicare plan determines when Medicare coverage begins. Three enrollment periods determine this:
1. Initial enrollment period
2. General enrollment period
3. Special enrollment period
What is the Initial Medicare Enrollment Period?
This refers to the period between three months before your 65th birthday and three months after your birthday. If you enroll three months before your birthday, then Medicare coverage begins on the month you turn 65 years. If you enroll when you reach 65, Medicare begins the next month. However, if you enroll three months after your birthday, then coverage may take as long as three months after you enrolled.
When is the General Medicare Enrollment Period?
If you did not sign up for Medicare in the initial Medicare enrollment period, then you can sign up during the general enrollment period. The period starts on January 1st to March 31st each year. Once you sign up, your Medicare coverage begins on the 1st of July of the same year.
What is the Special Medicare Enrollment Period?
If I have group health insurance, when does my Medicare coverage begin? You can enroll in Medicare within 8 months after your insurance ends. Medicare coverage will begin in the month after enrolling.
So the earlier you enroll for Medicare, the earlier your Medicare coverage begins.