If you’re approaching 65 years old, your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Medicare is around the corner. Medicare is a program that offers health insurance coverage to senior citizens that’s been paid for through the years they worked.
If you have received Social Security Disability benefits for at least 24 months, the program will automatically enroll you in Medicare. If this doesn’t apply to you, your Initial Enrollment Period is typically within three months of your 65th birthday.
Can I Sign Up for Medicare if I Miss the Initial Enrollment Period?
You can still sign up for Medicare even if you miss your IEP. There is an Open Enrollment Period that runs January 1st-March 31st every year that allows new Medicare clients to sign up for Medicare Plans A and B and allows old Medicare clients to make changes to their current policy. You will be penalized for signing up late for Medicare, however. Usually this means your premiums will be higher.
Enrollment periods include:
- Open Enrollment Period January 1st-March 31st: This enrollment period is for people enrolling in Original Medicare Plan A and B. You can also change your existing Medicare Advantage plan during this time.
- Initial Enrollment Period within 3 months of your 65th birthday: This is the first time you qualify for Original Medicare.
- Annual Enrollment Period October 15th-December 7th: This enrollment period is only for people already enrolled in Original Medicare for Plan A and B who wish to enroll in Medicare Advantage.
- Special Enrollment Period 8 months after your last day of employment or your last day of employed health insurance
Changes for these policies typically go into effect on the first of the new year.
Can Someone Younger than 65 Enroll in Medicare?
There are special cases in which someone under the age of 65 can enroll in Original Medicare. The exceptions are young people who have a qualifying disability or someone who has End-stage Renal Disease.
How Much Does Medicare Cost?
The price of Medicare depends on your situation. If you paid Medicare taxes while working, you may not have a premium for Part A. If you didn’t, your Part A premium could be as much as $437 a month.
Discuss your Medicare possibilities with an insurance professional. Even if you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, it’s not too late to sign up for Medicare and have your medical expenses covered.
Also Read: What Should I Know About Medicare Enrollment?