If you’re turning 65 soon, your chance to enroll in Medicare is right around the corner.

Here’s some information on eligibility, coverage options and more to help you get started.

1. Confirm your eligibility

Medicare is available to people:

  • Age 65 or older
  • Younger than 65 with a qualifying disability
  • With end-stage kidney disease, permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant

To find out if you’re eligible and calculate your Part B premium, use the Medicare.gov eligibility tool, opens new window.

Note: If you already get benefits from Social Security, you'll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you're first eligible and don't need to sign up. If you live in Puerto Rico, you'll only get Part A automatically and will need to sign up for Part B if you want it.1

2. Confirm your enrollment period

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is your first chance to sign up for Medicare. Once you become eligible, you have these 7 months to enroll:

  • 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • The month you turn 65
  • 3 months after the month you turn 65

Note: If you don’t sign up during your IEP, you may face a late enrollment penalty.

3. Choose your coverage

Most first-time Medicare applicants can choose between 2 options:

  • Enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), with the option to add a stand-alone prescription drug plan and/or a Medicare Supplement insurance plan.
  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, offered by private insurance companies contracted by the federal government.

You should be all set!

We hope our guide helps you sign up for Medicare without a hitch. For information on general Medicare topics, check out these 10 frequently asked questions about Medicare plans.

Sources

  1. “Get Started with Medicare,” Medicare.gov, last accessed July 22, 2020, https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-started-with-medicare, opens new window.

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