Knowing when to enroll in Medicare can be a little bit confusing. There are quite different dates for enrolling and deadlines based on your qualification and the timing of your enrollment. Here are the periods you need to consider in order to plan accordingly.
Under 65 and with ALS
Under 65 and End-Stage Renal Disease
Over 65, disabled, and collected social security for 24+ months.
Anyone from 65 or older
Under 65 and getting Social Security Disability Insurance for 2+ years
Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): During your Initial Enrollment Time, you are first eligible to participate in Medicare. There is a span of 7 months of registration that covers the three months before your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and the three months after your birthday.
When you have paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years, you will automatically enroll in Medicare Part A. Otherwise, via Social Security, you can enroll manually and will have to pay a fee.
If you're disabled, once you earn disability insurance for 24+ consecutive months, you eventually get Medicare Part A and B.
General Enrollment Period (GEP): You can enroll in Original Medicare during the General Enrollment Period if you have missed the Initial Enrollment Period. This is effectively a time of open enrollment for initial Medicare (Parts A & B). It runs every year from January 1st to March 31st. After your IEP, however, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty for enrolling in Part A and/or B.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Some individuals, since they already have employer-sponsored insurance, opt not to participate in Medicare Part B during their initial enrollment period. A Special Enrollment Period is activated when their coverage terminates (because they are retiring or wish to move to a Medicare policy). They can enroll in Medicare Part B or upgrade their existing Medicare plan during their Special Enrollment Period. This is usually a window of two months, but depending on the case, it can vary.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You can make changes to your current Medicare Advantage or Prescription drug plan, during the Annual Enrollment Period (Oct 15 - Dec 7). Here's the overview of the changes you can make:
Enrolling in a new Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
Switching from your current Part D plan to a new one
Ending your Part D coverage completely
Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan from Orginal Medicare
Switching from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare
Switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
Medicare is covered only by home health care services prescribed by a physician and delivered by qualified nurses, although patients must meet strict eligibility criteria.
What is the easiest way to apply for Medicare? Well, you are in the right place! Most people were automatically enrolled and became eligible for Social Security when they turn to 65. We didn't need to apply for Medicare until President Reagan signed the legislation which raises the retirement age in 1983 and begins in 2003.
While eye care is a common need as we age, Medicare coverage is extremely restricted for most vision services. It is normally based on whether you encounter any medical problems that can impair your eyesight.
Many people believe that Medicare is free because, for much of their working life, you have paid into Medicare by taxes, but that assumption is not right.