When Does Medicare Start?

Medicare is a federally backed healthcare provider and is one of the largest in the United States. In order to enroll in it, you need to know when it starts.

If you are planning your retirement, you may be thinking of when Medicare begins. Infact, when does Medicare start is one of the most commonly asked questions. In some situations, your Medicare coverage starts automatically. In others, you may have to enroll for it, or you can choose to delay part of your Medicare coverage.

When does Medicare start?

When does Medicare coverage start if you’re automatically signed up?

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the point at which you are first qualified for Medicare coverage. For a lot of people, this is a seven-month time frame which begins three months before you turn 65, includes your birthday month, and continues to go on for 90 days (three months) after your birthday month. Many individuals are automatically signed up at this point. Your Medicare coverage usually begins on the first day of your birthday month. In the event that your birthday falls on the first day of the month, your Medicare coverage will begin on the first day of the previous month.

On the off chance that you fit the bill for Medicare due to a disability or illness, as a rule your IEP will also be seven months long. It begins three months before your 25th month of getting Social Security disability benefits, includes the 25th month, and continues to go on for three more months. You, for the most part, need to get disability benefits for two years straight in order to be eligible. Read more about getting Medicare if you have a disability. Your Medicare coverage normally begins on the 25th month in which you get disability benefits.

When does Medicare coverage start if you’re not automatically signed up?

Usually,  if you are already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) when you turn 65 or are eligible because of disability. If you are not automatically signed up for Medicare, the date Medicare coverage will start is based on when you enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and/or Part B (medical insurance).

  • If you sign up for Medicare the month before your 65th birthday, your Medicare coverage will typically begin on the first day of your birthday month.
  • If you sign up in the month of your 65th birthday, your coverage will typically start on the first day of the month after your birthday month.
  • If you sign up a month after you turn 65 years old, coverage will typically begin two months after you signed up.
  • If you sign up two months after you turn 65 years old, coverage will usually begin three months after you signed up.
  • If you sign up three months after you turn 65 years old, coverage will typically begin three months after you signed up.

When does Medicare coverage start if you enroll during the General Enrollment Period?

If you were not automatically signed up for Original Medicare, or if you chose to delay enrollment, you can typically enroll during the General Enrollment Period. It starts on January 1st up till March 31st every year. Your Medicare coverage starts on the 1st of July in the year in which you enroll.

When does Medicare coverage start if you enroll during a Special Enrollment Period?

If you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, your Medicare coverage typically starts on the 1st of the month after you apply for Medicare. There may be many reasons you may be qualified for a Special Enrollment Period – for instance, if you lose other health coverage.

When does Medicare coverage start if you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan?

In the event that you enroll during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, your Medicare Advantage coverage as a rule begins simultaneously with your Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage, as mentioned previously. For instance, on the off chance that you enroll with Medicare Advantage during the three-month time frame before you turn 65 years old, your plan would begin coverage on the first day of your birthday month. In the event that you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election Period (October 15 through to December 7 yearly), your plan coverage ordinarily begins on January 1st of the following year. The same is true if you change plans. In case you change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1 through till March 31), usually your new coverage will begin on the 1st of the month after the plan gets your request.

When does Medicare coverage start if you sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan?

Your coverage start date will normally be the same as for a Medicare Advantage plan as mentioned above. However, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period does not always apply to stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drugs plans.

When does Medicare coverage start if you sign up for a Medicare Supplement insurance plan?

Details of your coverage start date may vary. Make sure to call your Medicare Supplement insurance plan for information.

How soon does Medicare start after applying?

For a lot of people, Medicare coverage begins on the first day of the month you turn 65 years old. A few individuals defer enrollment and stay on an employer plan. Others might take premium-free Part A and defer Part B. In case somebody is on Social Security Disability for two years, they meet all requirements for Medicare. Those with End-Stage Renal Disease will be immediately qualified for Medicare with a diagnosis. When Medicare will start is different for every beneficiary.

Individuals with disabilities, ALS, or End-Stage Renal Disease might be qualified for Medicare before they are 65 years old. On the off chance that you fit the bill for Medicare on account of a disability, there is no minimum age for getting benefits. In any case, most recipients get Medicare at age 65. A few people wait until they retire to begin gathering benefits. For a few, that could be 66 years old; for other people, waiting until 70 to get delayed retirement credits might be the most advantageous retirement plan.

On the off chance that you decide to enroll at age 65, benefits start on the first day of the month you turn 65 years old. For instance, in the event that you turn 65 on June 30th, your coverage starts on the 1st of June. You can get Medicare at age 65 regardless of whether you are not gathering Social Security. Keeping this in mind, you can continue to work and take your Medicare if that is the route you are going for.

When should you apply for Medicare?

Generally, individuals are encouraged to file for Medicare benefits 3 months before they turn 65 years old. Keep in mind that Medicare advantages can start no earlier than age 65. In case you are currently getting Social Security, you will automatically be signed up for Medicare Parts A and B without an extra application. Nonetheless, in light of the fact that you need to pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. You will get a Medicare card around two months before you turn 65 years old. Note that residents of Puerto Rico or foreign countries will not get Part B automatically. They need to elect this benefit.

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What month does Medicare coverage begin?

In the event that you enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) during the initial 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your coverage will begin on the first day of the month you will turn 65 years old. On the off chance that your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage will begin on the first day of the previous month.

At the point when you are first qualified for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to enroll in Part A as well as Part B. In case you are qualified for Medicare when you turn 65, you can enroll during the 7-month time frame that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

In the event that you did not get automatically signed up for premium-free Part A (for instance, maybe because you are actually working and not yet getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits), you can enroll in premium-free Part A (if you are eligible) any time during or after your Initial Enrollment Period starts.

In case you are qualified for premium-free Part A, you can enroll in Part A at any time after you are first qualified for Medicare. Your Part A coverage will return (retroactively) half a year from when you enroll, however no sooner than the first month you are eligible for Medicare. Your coverage start date will rely upon when you enroll. On the off chance that you need to purchase Part A and also Part B, you can only sign up during a valid enrollment period.

In the event that you wait until the month you turn 65 (or the 3 months after you turn 65) to enroll, your Part B coverage will be deferred. This could cause a gap in your coverage. Generally, on the off chance that you do not enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first qualified, you will need to pay a late enrollment penalty. You will need to suffer this consequence for as long as you have Part B and could have a gap in your health coverage.

When your Initial Enrollment Period closes, you can enroll in Part B and Part A (if you need to pay a premium for it) during the General Enrollment Period between January 1 and March 31 every year. You should pay premiums for Part A as well as Part B. Your coverage will begin on July 1st. You might need to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part A or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B. You might have the option to sign up at a different time without a late enrollment penalty on the off chance that you meet all requirements for a Special Enrollment Period. In case you are qualified, you can enroll in premium-free Part A at any point after your Initial Enrollment Period begins.

When your Initial Enrollment Period closes, you might get the opportunity to enroll in Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period. In case you are covered under a group health plan dependent on current employment, you can enroll in Part A or Part B at any time as long as:

  • You or your spouse (or family member if you’re disabled) is working.
  • You’re covered by a group health plan through the employer or union based on that work.

You will also have an 8-month long period to enroll in Part A and/or Part B that begins at one of these times (whichever happens first):

  • The month after the employment ends
  • The month after group health plan insurance based on current employment ends
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Typically, you do not pay a late enrollment penalty if you enroll during a Special Enrollment Period. You may also be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period for Part A and Part B if you are a volunteer, serving in a foreign country.

  • If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month: The month you turn 65
  • Your coverage starts: 1 month after you sign up
  • If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month: 1 month after you turn 65
  • Your coverage starts: 2 months after you sign up
  • If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month: 2 months after you turn 65
  • Your coverage starts: 3 months after you sign up
  • If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month: 3 months after you turn 65
  • Your coverage starts: 3 months after you sign up
  • If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month: During the January 1–March 31 General Enrollment Period
  • Your coverage starts: July 1

When you turn 65 when does Medicare start?

Medicare will automatically begin when you turn 65 in the event that you have gotten Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Benefits for at least 4 months before your 65th birthday. You will automatically be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B at 65 in the event that you get benefit checks. As per the Social Security Administration, over 30% of seniors claim Social Security benefits early. For those seniors, Medicare Part A and Part B will automatically begin when they turn 65 years old. You can expect to receive your Medicare card via the mail three months before your birthday. Your Medicare card will accompany a complete enrollment bundle that incorporates fundamental data about your coverage. Your card will not be usable until you turn 65, despite the fact that you will get the card before that time.

Can you get Medicare at age 62?

In some situations, you can become qualified for Medicare before you are 65. You can be eligible for Medicare at a younger age if:

  • You have received Social Security or Railroad Retirement disability payments for 2 years. This triggers automatic enrollment.
  • You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). You will be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B automatically, during the first month your Social Security and Railroad Retirement disability benefits begin.
  • You have end stage renal disease (also known as ESRD or end-stage kidney disease). Your Medicare coverage begins on the 4th month of dialysis treatments. If you are taking part in a home dialysis training program, your coverage could potentially start in the first month of dialysis.

What documents do I need to apply for Medicare?

You will have to provide evidence for the fact that you are qualified for Medicare when you initially enroll. In certain situations, Medicare may already have this data. In case you are currently getting Social Security retirement advantages or Social Security Disability Insurance, you will not have to present any extra documentation. Social Security and Medicare will already have all the data they need to deal with your enrollment. In the event that you do not get any sort of Social Security benefits, you will need to give documentation to enroll in Medicare. You can enroll online, via the phone, or face to face at a Social Security office. Regardless of how you apply, you will need to give certain data. Usually, it is as follows:

  • applicant’s date and place of birth
  • applicant’s citizenship status
  • applicant’s Social Security number
  • information about any Social Security work credits you have earned in another country
  • information about any work you or a spouse has done for the railroad industry
  • information on any federal pension you receive now or will receive in the future
  • the amount of money you have earned in the past 2 years (if you’re applying between September and December, you will also need to estimate next year’s earnings)
  • the date and place of any marriages or divorces you’ve had
  • the dates of any military service you had before 1968
  • the names and ages of any children you have who are under age 18 (children up to age 19 who are still in high school also need to be mentioned)
  • the names and ages of any children you have who had a disability before age 22
  • the name and address of any employer you’ve had in the past 2 years
  • the name and Social Security number of your current spouse and any former spouses
  • whether you have ever applied for Social Security benefits in the past, or whether anyone has ever applied on your behalf

Most of this data can be provided simply by filling out the application. However, certain details will require extra documentation. These documents may include:

  • applicant’s original birth certificate or a copy that has been certified by the issuing agency, such as the state you were born in
  • a record of your earnings, such as your Social Security statement
  • if you are not a U.S. citizen, proof of legal residency — including your Permanent Resident Card, often called a green card, and your admission-departure record, if you have it
  • if you do not have a record of your birth, other documents to prove your age, such as your immunization records, school records, state census records, insurance records, or medical records
  • if you had military service before 1968, a record of your service, such as your discharge papers
  • if you were born outside the United States, proof of your U.S. citizenship such as your U.S. passport, a Naturalization Certificate, a Certificate of Citizenship, or a U.S. consular report of birth
  • your W-2 or self-employment tax information from the past year

You probably will not require all of these reports and documents, however, it is a smart thing to have as many of them prepared as you can. Social Security will tell you what is required. Any documents you send ought to be originals. Social Security will only accept copies of W-2s, tax documents, and clinical records, yet all the other things should be an original document. The documents will be sent back to you after they have been investigated.

You will have to give the documents recorded above when you sign up for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). Together, parts A and B are known as original Medicare. You will have to enroll in original Medicare before you can sign up for any other Medicare parts. Other parts of Medicare include:

  • Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage
  • Medicare Part D, which is prescription drug coverage
  • Medicare supplement insurance, also called Medigap

You should not need to provide any extra documentation when you sign up for these other parts. You will only be asked to provide your Medicare number and your Medicare Part A start date. You can find your Medicare number and Part A start date on your Medicare card.

How do I find documents if I’ve lost my copies?

You can get new copies of any documents you no longer have. It would be smart if you start collecting documents before you apply for Medicare. If you need new copies of any documents, you can follow the steps below.

Birth certificates

You can request a copy of your birth certificate from the Vital Records OfficeTrusted Source of the state you were born in. Each state has diverse request forms and expenses. Stick to the directions on the website and pay any expenses required. Most states permit you to get your birth certificate quicker if you pay an extra charge. To do this, your birth state may ask that you present a copy of your ID or a signed request form.

Naturalization Certificate or Certificate of Citizenship

You can request a copy of your Naturalization Certific ate or Certificate of Citizenship from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can fill out Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship, either on the web (online) or via mail, to have a copy of these documents shipped off to you. To submit this form, you will need to pay $555 and send in two identical passport-style photographs of yourself. You will likewise need to send in a sworn statement if your document was lost or a police report in case it was stolen.

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Permanent Resident Card

You can request a substitution Permanent Resident Card from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can fill out Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, either on the web (online) or via mail. You will have to pay $455, alongside an $85 biometrics cost. You will likewise need to give a copy of a government ID, similar to your driver’s permit, alongside your application.

Military service records

You can request a copy of your military records, either on the web (online) or via mail. There are no charges to access your own military records. Your form will need to go to the military branch you served in. Apart from your request, you will have to provide your:

  • date of birth
  • name you used while serving
  • service dates
  • Social Security number

Earnings statements

You can get an income statement from Social Security by making a My Social Security account. You will have the option to see your statement online. You would then be able to print your statement and send it alongside your application. You ought to submit your application regardless of whether you do not have copies of some of these documents. Social Security could possibly help you track them down. Truth be told, Social Security can frequently request copies and verification from your state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. If not, it can assist you with getting the forms you need to get the documents yourself.

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you need to enroll for Medicare all alone relies upon whether you get federal retirement benefits — Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits. Americans who are now getting benefit checks from either government program will be automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65 years old. All others would need to manually enroll in Medicare. The date your Medicare coverage starts relies upon; when you enroll during your initial enrollment period; and, whether you enrolled during the general enrollment period. Albeit most Americans start their Medicare coverage on or close to their 65th birthday, there are a few conditions that could make Medicare accessible to them at an early age, for example, two years of Social Security or Railroad Retirement disability payments, ALS (amyotrophic horizontal sclerosis), or ESRD (end stage renal sickness).

Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett

Tony Benett makes his living in the insurance industry by teaching and consulting. He is also recognized by the legal profession as an expert on insurance coverages. His insurance experience includes having worked at the company level, owned an independent general agency and having worked for an insurance association. He has received various certificates over the past few years and helps his clients and readers by giving them a realistic outlook on what they can expect to achieve within their set targets. At Insurance Noon, he is known for his in-depth analysis and attention to details with accuracy. He has been published as one of the most referred agents by his peers in the insurance community. Tony loves the outdoors and most sport events. His passion other than providing excellent advice is playing golf.

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