If you're new to Medicare, understanding when to enroll is important and can help you avoid late enrollment penalties and prevent gaps in your coverage.
Initial Enrollment Period
The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the first time you can sign up for Medicare. It goes for 7 months; beginning 3 months before the month you turn 65 and lasting 3 months after your 65th birthday month.
For example, if your 65th birthday is in June, your Initial Enrollment Period begins March 1 and will end September 30.
The Social Security office handles the Medicare enrollment, and offers you several easy options for your enrollment.
What happens after I apply?
Once Social Security receives your application, they will:
It usually takes about 3 weeks for your Medicare card to arrive in the mail. While you wait, we can help you learn about coverage options such as Medicare Supplements (Medigap), Medicare Advantage, and prescription drug plan (Part D).
You can typically enroll in less than ten minutes through the online application.
You can call Social Security and schedule an appointment for a phone interview.
Apply at your local Social Security office by walking in or calling and scheduling an appointment.
You don’t need to go through your Medicare enrollment alone. Our dedicated team is here to help you make sense of Medicare so you can avoid costly mistakes.
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Not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-medicare to get information on all of your options.