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.

3 Responses to “When Does My Medicare Coverage Begin?”

  1. Sandra K. Tarbet says:

    I received a letter stating that beginning in October I would start having Medicare coverage. I went to get my flu shot on October 10 and CVS stated that my coverage had not begun and they wouldnt give me the shot. Do I have to wait until after my birthday on October 17th for the coverage to kick in? I dont have my medical card yet but the letter states if I need anything I would be covered just show the confirmation letter5. What are the rules?

  2. Mary says:

    Can a person that needs breast cancer treatments qualify for medicaid after she turned 65 years old in January 2012. This person was told she didn’t qualify for social security as she was mostly a housewife and hardly worked. And can she qualify for disability? She is being charged over $50.00 a treatment and she needs several on a weekly basis. Her husband is the only one with a social security check. And they CANNOT afford these cancer treatments. How do they expect her to pay?

  3. Ria Brown says:

    I will turn 65 April 30th but I work full time and have coverage, do I have to get medicare and if so how much will it cost me