When does Medicare start after signing up?

Depending on what specific part of Medicare you are enrolling in, the timing of your enrollment can have a major impact on your coverage.
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Introduction

Are you planning on retiring soon? Then you may want to know: when does Medicare coverage start?

 

Does Medicare start on my 65th birthday?

You are eligible for Medicare if you are an American (or a US resident for five years) aged 65 and above, or if you are under 65 and have been receiving disability benefits for at least 24 months.

If you are already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement (RRB) benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65.

Otherwise, you should proactively enroll in Original Medicare when you turn 65.

 

When does Medicare kick in for Original Medicare?

When your coverage under Original Medicare begins, you will have Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Medical) benefits.

The best time to enroll is during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – a seven-month period that starts three months before turning 65.

If you missed your IEP, the nearest enrollment period is the General Enrollment Period (GEP) – January 1 to March 31. Coverage starts July 1.

 

When does coverage start under a Medigap plan?

A Medigap plan will help in paying the out-of-pocket costs that you are required to pay under Original Medicare.

During the Medigap OEP, you have ‘guaranteed issue rights.’ This means that private insurers cannot deny coverage or charge you more based on your health condition.

It may be challenging to get a Medigap plan after this one-time guaranteed issue period. In order to get Medigap coverage, you will need to pass medical underwriting or pay more to cover pre-existing health problems.

 

What month does Medicare start if I choose a Medicare Advantage plan?

Many seniors enroll in Medicare Advantage (or Part C) plans, in part because of the additional benefits these plans offer. These are the enrollment periods:

 

When does Medicare coverage start for Part D plans?

You may need a standalone prescription drug plan (PDP) under traditional Medicare. You can enroll during these enrollment periods:

 

When does Medicare coverage start if I switch plans?

You can switch plans during these periods:

 

At what age does Medicare start if I continue working?

Most seniors are covered by premium-free Part A if they have contributed Medicare taxes for ten years.

If you continue working after 65, you can defer Part B enrollment (without penalties) as long as you have ‘creditable coverage.’ This term refers to a situation where you (or your spouse) have job-sponsored medical and drug insurance equivalent to Medicare.

Your next question might be – When can I start Medicare if I stop working?

If you lose creditable coverage, these are your enrollment periods:

 

Final Words

It is important to enroll in Medicare during the correct time periods. If you miss these enrollment periods, you may face higher premiums, penalties, and fewer options.

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