Senior Health Information and Insurance Education

New to Medicare

Start Here:

This video helps you understand the basics. See below for more information to help you on your "New to Medicare" journey.

Nearing age 65 of your Initial Enrollment Period

  • This is the seven-month window surrounding the month of your 65th birthday.
  • You can join Medicare Parts A, B and D during your Initial Enrollment Period.
  • If you are currently drawing benefits from Social Security you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. Review your insurance options to see if you want to delay taking Medicare Part B.
Someone with a July 25 birthday can join Medicare Parts A and B from April to October.

Birthday: July 25th - Enrollment Period
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
If you join during: 3 months before birthday month Birthday month 3 months after birthday month
Medicare starts: July 1 Aug 1 Oct 1 Dec 1 Jan 1
The later you enroll, the later your Medicare Parts A and B will start.Medicare Part D starts the month of your birthday, or the month after you enroll.

Age 65 and Older and Outside of Initial Enrollment Period

You can still join Medicare:
  • Special Enrollment Period for Parts A and B. This is for people who've been covered by insurance through a current job (or spouse's current job). You can enroll up to eight months after the job or the insurance ends.
  • Special Enrollment Period for Part D. This is for people who had prescription drug coverage through a current job (or a spouse's current job) and it was creditable coverage. You can enroll up to 63 days after the job or insurance ends.
  • General Enrollment Period. This occurs each year from January 1 to March 31. Your coverage starts July 1, and you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty.

Under Age 65 and Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security automatically enrolls you in Medicare Parts A and B.
  • Generally, this occurs on your 25th month of receiving Social Security disability payments.
  • Some individuals with disabilities don't have to wait as long, like those with End Stage Renal Disease (also called permanent kidney failure) or people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease).
  • Medicare will let you know the effective date, and give you the option to defer Part B.

Your Medicare choices

Original Medicare
Part A - Hospital CarePart B - Doctor and outpatient care
There are gaps in coverage. You may want to add more insurance
Medigap - Medicare Part A & B SupplementPart D - Prescription drug coverage (Avoid penalties for late enrollment)

Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan)
Alternative to Medicare for hospital, doctor and outpatient care
(Most Part C plans include drug coverage.)
If you don't have prescription drug coverage, you may want to add a Part D Plan.
(Avoid penalties for late enrollment.)

You may have other Medicare options

If you are:
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