If you are approaching your Medicare eligibility, there are essential things to know about your enrollment that can save you time. Medicare is a health program for folks 65 and over, certain people under 65 with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease. The two parts that are two original Medicare are parts A and B. Medicare Part A is your hospital insurance coverage, and Medicare Part B is your doctor and your medical insurance coverage.
When it comes to signing up for Medicare parts A&B, some people will be automatically enrolled and do not need to do anything. While other people will actively need to enroll in Medicare, in most cases, this will depend on whether you're collecting Social Security benefits or if you're turning 65. Suppose you will be getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least four months before you turn 65.The government will automatically enroll you in Medicare parts A&B. You don't have to do anything. Your effective date will be the first day of the month that you turn 65 unless you're born on the 1st of the month, in which case your effective date will be the first day of the month prior.
You will automatically get your red, white, and blue Medicare card about three months before your birthday. For most people, it will be the first day of the month that they turn 65. It will come in an envelope from CMS, and it's just a paper card, so make sure to keep an eye out for it and don't accidentally throw it away.
Suppose you are turning 65 and you're not collecting Social Security benefits. In that case, you will need to enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment window actively, so your initial enrollment window is a seven-month window, and it starts up to three months before the month that you turn 65. And it goes up to three months after the month of your 65th birthday. If you enroll before your birth month, then your effective date will generally be the first day of the month that you turn 65.
Your Medicare Part B effective date could be delayed if you enroll after your birth month. This chart shows you when you can expect your Medicare Part B effective date based on your enrollment date.
There are a few different ways that you can enroll in Medicare. One way is to go to your local Social Security office and get signed up; not necessarily the most fun, but an option. Another way is to call Social Security. And additionally, what I think is the simplest way is to go ahead and enroll online.