If you’re approaching the age of 65, you may be wondering when to enroll in Medicare. Enrolling in Medicare is an important step in making sure you have the health care coverage you need. Here’s what you need to know about when and how to enroll in Medicare.
When to Enroll in Medicare
If you’re 65 or older, you can enroll in Medicare during the seven-month period that starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month of your 65th birthday, and ends three months after your 65th birthday. You also have the option to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during this time.
If you’re under 65 and have a disability, you may be eligible to enroll in Medicare earlier. You can contact your local Social Security office to learn more about your eligibility.
How to Enroll in Medicare
When it’s time to enroll in Medicare, you have several options. You can enroll online at the Social Security website, or you can call Social Security toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. You can also apply in person at your local Social Security office.
If you’re enrolled in an employer’s health plan, you may want to wait to enroll in Medicare until your employer’s plan ends. You may be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers additional coverage, such as prescription drugs and dental care.
It’s important to remember that you may be subject to a penalty if you don’t enroll in Medicare when you first become eligible. The penalty is a lifelong increase in your monthly Part B premiums.
When you’re ready to enroll in Medicare, you’ll need to provide information about your income and assets so that Social Security can determine if you qualify for extra help with your premiums and other out-of-pocket costs.
Enrolling in Medicare is an important step to ensuring you have the health care coverage you need. Be sure to enroll in Medicare when you’re first eligible so that you don’t miss out on important coverage.