Signing Up for Medicare

There are various sign-up options that USA Benefit Consultants can walk your through and simplify the process.

Signing up through Social Security

If you already get benefits from Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you’re first eligible. You don’t need to sign up. Medicare will send you a “Welcome to Medicare” packet three months before you turn 65. You’ll still have other important deadlines and actions to take, so read all of the materials in the packet.

If you’re over 65 (or turning 65 in the next three months) and NOT already getting benefits from Social Security, you’ll need to sign up to get Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). You won’t get Medicare automatically.

Medicare Enrollment Periods

There are three basic types of Medicare Enrollment Periods:

Initial Enrollment Period

When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a seven-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the seven-month period that:

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

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.

General Enrollment Period Each Year

You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during a General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 and from October 15 to December 7 each year. Both of these must apply:

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

Special Enrollment Period

Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends (and you have not signed up), you may have the chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during an SEP if you have special circumstances.

USA Benefit Consultants can explain the details of any of these enrollment options.