Medicare is a federal health program for citizens or permanent legal residents aged 65 or older and covers certain inpatient and outpatient healthcare costs.
Since turning 65 is one of the eligibility requirements for Medicare enrollment, you may wonder if you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare once you turn 65. In this guide, we’ll answer this question and explain more about Medicare eligibility and enrollment.
Most people qualify for Medicare when they turn 65 and must sign up as soon as they become eligible. However, some people may be eligible for automatic enrollment in Original Medicare under certain conditions. Suppose you receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board at least four months before your 65th birthday. In that case, you will be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare when you turn 65. If you receive disability benefits from Social Security or RRB for 24 months, you will also be automatically enrolled in Medicare on the 25th month. However, if you are about to turn 65 and you do not receive benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board, you will have to enroll manually during your Initial Enrollment Period.
Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you will receive a “Welcome to Medicare” package that contains the necessary information about coverage and your options.
Eligibility and Enrollment
You are eligible to enroll for Medicare three months before you turn 65. This becomes the beginning of your Initial Enrollment Period. To avoid late enrollment penalties, you must sign up for Medicare during this period. This period will last until three months after your 65th birthday, giving you a total of seven months to enroll.
People with certain conditions such as End-Stage Renal Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis may also be eligible even when under 65. If you are eligible because of these conditions, you will more than likely be automatically enrolled.
If you have a group health plan that offers creditable coverage, you can delay your Part B enrollment without paying the late enrollment penalty when you later decide to enroll. However, to avoid delays in receiving your coverage, it is crucial that you sign up during the Initial Enrollment Period, but under certain conditions, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you feel you must delay your Medicare enrollment. For example, suppose you have a group health plan or are covered by your employer, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Another enrollment period is the General Enrollment Period. The General Enrollment Period starts on January 1 and ends on March 31. However, be advised that if you miss your Initial Enrollment Period and enroll during this period, you will most likely pay a late enrollment penalty. The late enrollment penalty is an extra charge that will be added to your Medicare premiums if you fail to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period.
Need Help Choosing a Plan?
The trained experts with Bend Medicare can help you make an informed decision on your Medicare coverage! Once we’ve settled on the details of your Medicare policy, we’ll be able to determine the best course of action and get you covered.