Each fall, you receive a new “Medicare and You” handbook with updated information concerning Medicare. The handbook
Medicare benefits are convenient and easy to apply for. After verifying that you meet the eligibility requirements, you can get started with the Medicare enrollment process. Here is what you need to know about Medicare enrollment.
How To Enroll In Medicare
If you are hoping to enroll in the Medicare program soon, you may need to verify your eligibility. In order to be eligible for Medicare, you must be at least 65 years old or be diagnosed with a qualifying disability. In many cases, if you are below age 65, you may be required to have received at least 24 months worth of Social Security Disability benefits before you can qualify for Medicare benefits.
This is not true in cases where the applicant is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or End-Stage Renal Disease. When diagnosed with those conditions, you automatically qualify for Medicare benefits.
When To Enroll In Medicare
The best time to enroll in Medicare is during one of the standard enrollment periods. Although some exceptions can be made, it will likely not be possible to enroll outside of one of the following periods.
Initial Enrollment Period
Everyone enters their initial enrollment period 3 months before they turn 65. It continues through their birth month and includes the following three months. During this time period. People can choose to enroll in either Medicare Part A, Part B, or both. They may also be able to switch to Medicare Advantage or enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan. For most Medicare applicants, this is the best time to enroll, as doing so allows you to minimize the risk of incurring late enrollment penalties and you may have better access to prime Medicare options.
General Enrollment Period
The general enrollment period begins January 1 and ends March 31 every year. During this time, you can commit to Original Medicare benefits, switch to Medicare Advantage or revert back to Original Medicare. This same period can be used to enroll in Part D prescription drug coverage.
Special Enrollment Periods
If you are in need of Medicare benefits immediately, but an enrollment period is not currently active, you may be able to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Special enrollment periods allow you to access medicare benefits when you are under special circumstances, such as relocation or your benefits recently expired.Contact a Medicare professional to determine whether your situation qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.