Medicare eligibility if you're turning 65 and when to apply

Medicare covers eligible individuals 65 and older and people younger than 65 who qualify due to a disability or end stage renal disease. Once you confirm your eligibility to enroll, be aware that there are specific rules regarding when you can sign up.

Your initial enrollment period, known as the “Initial Coverage Election Period,” begins 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and continues through the 3 months after the month of your 65th birthday. That gives you 7 months to shop and compare plans before you have to commit. (Although we suggest you start a little sooner!)

If you plan to continue working after you turn 65 and you have healthcare coverage through your employer, check with the person who manages your benefits to find out if that coverage works with Medicare.

If you’re younger than 65 and have a disability, you may qualify for Medicare Parts A and B.

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