If you are approaching Medicare within the next few months or so, you might be wondering if you need to apply for your Medicare and if so when to apply for Medicare. Here’s the answer: It depends.
The following information assumes that you qualify for Medicare. Medicare qualification depends on the number of years that you worked and paid Medicare taxes in the United States. To find out if you are eligible, please contact the Social Security Administration. There are two questions here; the first one is when you should apply and the second one is if you should apply.
When Should You Apply?
If you are aging into Medicare that means that you’re approaching 65 years old, your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts three full months before the month of your 65th birthday and it ends three full months after the month of your 65th birthday. Example: Your birthday is on July 10th, your IEP will start on April 1st it will include your entire birth month and end on October 31st for a total of seven full months. If you are approaching 65 years old, and you are no longer working, you should contact the Social Security Administration at least two months before you turn 65 so that you can enroll in Medicare and get information on your retirement income benefits.
Should You Apply?
If you or your spouse is still working, and you are receiving health insurance from your employer or your spouse’s employer, then you usually don’t need to take Medicare until you or your spouse are ready to retire. I would still advise you to check with your benefits coordinator to see if they will continue to cover you when you turn 65 in most cases they will, but checking doesn’t hurt.
If you are working and for whatever reason, your job doesn’t give you health insurance benefits, then you should contact the Social Security Administration to apply for Medicare.
If you are retired but not receiving Social Security Retirement Income, then contact the Social Security Administration, ssa.gov and apply for Medicare even if your previous employer is still giving you health insurance.
If you are retired and receiving Social Security Income, Social Security usually enrolls you in Medicare Part A and Part B automatically. You should receive your Medicare card in the mail about 60 days before your birth month, although a lot of people get it even sooner.