How to Sign up for Medicare?

Signing up for Part A & Part B

Some people get Part A & Part B automatically

You may qualify for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) if one of the following applies to you:  (You may click on link if you need more info on explanation).

If you get Medicare automatically

If you’re automatically enrolled, you’ll get your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail 3 months before your 65th birthday or your 25th month of disability.

Some people need to sign up for Part A & Part B

You need to sign up for Part A and Part B if:

  • You aren’t getting Social Security or RRB benefits (for example, because you’re still working).
Note

If you have coverage through a current or former employer, it’s important to understand how your current coverage works with Medicare before making any decisions.

When can I sign up for Part A & Part B?

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.

Example

For example, if you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
Note

You can sign up for free Part A (if you’re eligible) any time during or after your Initial Enrollment Period starts. Your coverage start date will depend on when you sign up. If you have to buy Part A and/or Part B, you can only sign up during a valid enrollment period.

In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You’ll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B and could have a gap in your health coverage.

Find out when you’re eligible for Medicare.

Between January 1–March 31 each year

You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year if both of these apply:

  • You didn’t sign up when you were first eligible.
  • You aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (see below).

You must pay premiums for Part A and/or Part B. Your coverage will start July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part A and/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B.

Note

To sign up for Part B, complete an Application for Enrollment in Part B (CMS-40B). Get this form and instructions in Spanish. If you don’t have Medicare or you want to sign up for Part A (some people have to pay a premium for Part A), contact Social Security.

Special circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods)

Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have the chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you’re covered under a group health plan based on current employment, you have a SEP to sign up for Part A and/or Part B anytime as long as:

  • You or your spouse (or family member if you’re disabled) is working.
  • You’re covered by a group health plan through the employer or union based on that work.

You also have an 8-month SEP to sign up for Part A and/or Part B that starts at one of these times (whichever happens first):

  • The month after the employment ends
  • The month after group health plan insurance based on current employment ends

Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a SEP.

How can I sign up for Part A & Part B?

If you have any more questions you are welcome to call Stephen or Carla Fowler at 205-417-5027 or email FowlerInsuranceTeam@gmail.com.

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