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When To Enroll In Medicare: Dates & More

Author: Jimmy Barron
4 mins 56 secs

Getting enrolled in the Medicare program is a complicated process. Here’s a breakdown of when to enroll in Medicare, enrollment costs, and more. People have been asking when they should enroll in Medicare lately.

Depending on the period you live in and your state, you may have to register for Medicare coverage. Read the following information to know when you should enroll in Medicare and more.

When To Enroll In Medicare

People between ages 65 and 65 or older must enroll in Part A of Medicare when eligible for Social Security Retirement benefits. People who are disabled and receive SSDI should also enroll when they become eligible for their disability benefits. People can also enroll before reaching these ages if they wish to do so.

What Is Part A?

Part A of Medicare is mainly known as hospital insurance or HI. Part A provides coverage to pay for inpatient, post-hospital, and some skilled nursing care. Part A does not cover the first 60 days of a hospital stay or any routine medical costs. Some people are eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B but have to start paying a monthly premium for Medicare Part B when this happens.

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Costs Of Enrollment And Additional Costs

Part A of Medicare will cost you $420 a month if you are not yet 65 and don’t have any other medical insurance. If you have another type of health insurance, you may be eligible for “supplemental medical insurance” to help pay for your Part A costs.

Supplemental insurance can provide additional benefits not found in Part A, such as allowing coverage for full-time or part-time work and getting coverage for specific conditions such as HIV or AIDS.

Initial Enrollment Periods

If you are enrolled in Part A but want to enroll in Part B, you will need to wait a certain amount. When you reach age 65, you can enroll in Part B anytime during an “initial enrollment period.” For 2017 and 2018, the initial enrollment period for Medicare Part A and B will start on January 1 and run through December 31 of the calendar year.

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For example, if you turned 65 on January 1, 2018, you can enroll as long as your first payment is made by April 30. If your birthday is between December 31 of the year, you register and December 31 of the following year, your initial enrollment period starts on January 1.

There are penalties if you pay your Part B premium after a period of time, including a penalty of 1 percent a month on the amount you owe. If you enroll in Part B during this time and then cancel your enrollment before December 31, then your penalty will reset to its full amount of 2 percent.

Between January 1-March 31 Each Year (General Enrollment Period)

This coverage is available annually to everyone regardless of age, income, and other factors. You must enroll for full coverage during the next 18 months (or six months in some states). You can find out when this period is in your area by checking with your state’s insurance department.

To get the coverage, you must be a citizen or resident of the United States, a US state or territory, or an individual without US citizenship who is temporarily in the US as an exchange visitor. You can also join if you are married and living with your spouse, who is a citizen and has enrolled in Medicare before them becoming eligible.

You must register on or before March 31 each year (the enrollment period). The coverage will begin July 1 of that same year. If you do not enroll during this time, you will not have coverage until January 1 of the following year.

Special Situations (Special Enrollment Period)

The government provides opportunities to enroll in Medicare outside the monthly enrollment period. Under some situations, late enrollment may be allowed, allowing you to join the program. You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if you or your spouse becomes eligible for Medicare during the calendar year or if your spouse gets married during the calendar year.

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This is only possible if you didn’t enroll in Medicare when you should have (during the general enrollment period). Generally, you can join Medicare if you or your spouse becomes eligible for Medicare during the calendar year.

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To do this, you must apply within three months of your original general enrollment period. You might be eligible to enroll in Medicare if your residence changes from the US during the calendar year and you didn’t enroll during a general enrollment period.

To do this, look below for more information on “Inpatient care outside of the US.” You may only take advantage of this provision once every five years.

When It Is Optimal To Enroll

If you are healthy, it is best if you enroll in Medicare as soon as possible so that when you become eligible for Social Security Retirement benefits or disability income benefits later in life, the federal government doesn’t need to pay for it for years.

During later years, it costs more money to cover someone who was enrolled earlier and currently needs care. The best option is to register in Part A and pay the premium yearly instead of enrolling in Part B and paying a monthly premium.

You will have to pay 1 percent more each year, but you will only be responsible for the cost of Part A for one year instead of two.

Importance Of Medicare Enrollment

Many people associate Medicare with the elderly. This is why many think it is not for them. However, people who are 65 and over can enroll in Medicare if they have health problems or get sick.

Not only will this help protect you from higher medical bills, but it can also help save you from paying a lot of money out of your own pocket. So remember that Medicare enrollment is important and worth looking into if you’re 65 years old or older and have any health issues, especially if they are expensive to treat.