Before enrolling in any Medicare coverage plan, be sure to consult with a Medicare expert online or in person to determine which plan type is best for you. Once you have decided which plan to enroll in, you will need to apply during your initial enrollment period, during a general enrollment period or during a special enrollment period.
Usually, an individual’s initial enrollment period for medical insurance (Medicare Part B or Medicare Advantage) is between three months before his or her 65th birthday and three months after it. However, there are exceptions.
If an eligible individual is already covered under a different health insurance plan, for example a group health insurance plan provided by an employer, he or she will not need to apply for Medicare during their initial enrollment period.
This is what is called a special enrollment period, as an individual will be allowed to apply for Medicare without paying a late fee due to special circumstances.
The special enrollment period lasts for 8 months after eligible individuals lose their previous work or group health coverage.
If you miss your initial enrollment period and are not eligible for special enrollment, you will need to apply for Medicare coverage during the general enrollment period. The general enrollment period takes place from January 1st to March 31 each year and your coverage starts in July if you are approved.
To apply during any of the aforementioned enrollment periods, you can go on the official US government site for Medicare and fill out the online form or call a Medicare expert for assistance.
You can also apply for Medicare coverage through the Social Security Administration if you are three months from turning 65 years of age.