When Can I Enroll in Medicare?
Enrolling in Medicare is a milestone for many Americans. Medicare provides health insurance for millions of people across the United States, and there are many options you can choose from. If you’re getting close to your 65th birthday, or you’ve been diagnosed with certain disabilities under the age of 65, you may be wondering when you can apply. Thankfully, the guidelines set forth by the program are pretty straightforward.
Medicare Benefits Solutions
Sep 18, 2020
Below is some information to help you out:
Enrolling in Medicare
In most cases, you can enroll in Medicare once you reach the age of 65. If you have a qualifying disability under the age of 65, you may also be eligible to enroll. For instance, if you’ve been receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability payments for at least 24 months, you may qualify for Medicare.
Can I make changes to my plan after enrollment?
One of the nice things about the Medicare program is that Medicare recipients are not locked into a single plan forever. You can make changes to your plan during the Annual Election Period (AEP) that occurs in the fall of each year. From October 15 through December 7, you have the freedom and flexibility to adjust your Medicare benefits according to your own needs. During AEP, you can switch Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, switch Prescription Drug Plans, drop Original Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, or drop your MA plan and revert to Original Medicare.
How do Special Enrollment Periods work?
If you relocate and you’re unable to utilize your current Medicare benefits, or you lose your current coverage, you may be able to enroll in Medicare under Special Enrollment Period guidelines. These are designed to allow qualified individuals the chance to make changes to existing coverage or enroll in a different Medicare plan without penalty due to major life changes.
To learn more about qualifying for Special Enrollment Periods or making changes during one of these periods, contact your plan manager.