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Applying for Medicare

When Should You Apply for Medicare?

The answer to this question can depend on whether you still have employer coverage (or other insurance), or if you are planning to have Medicare as your primary coverage. 

For people who are retired, have left their employer coverage, and are planning to use Medicare as their primary coverage, you will want to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP.)

What is the Initial Enrollment Period? The IEP is a 7 month interval. It starts 3 months before your 65th birthday month, includes your birthday month, and then continues 3 months after your 65th birthday month.  

If you’re not 100% sure when you IEP is, we are happy to figure it out with you!.  

It is important to know when your Initial Enrollment Period will be. If you miss enrolling during this period, you will be subject to late enrollment penalties.  

You can avoid these by enrolling in Part A or Part B (Original Medicare), or Part C (Medicare Advantage).  In addition, if you need Part D drug coverage, you can enroll in Part D during your Initial Enrollment Period.

The best way to avoid any penalties, is to simply reach out to a local Medicare Coach and have a short conversation. We can tell you when exactly you should enroll by, and how to do it. And if you need help, we are happy to coach you through the process!

How to Apply for Medicare

Apply Online

If you choose to apply online, you will use the Social Security office website to apply for Part A and Part B. We recommend doing this 3 months before your 65th birthday so you can avoid any gaps in coverage. That way, when you need Medicare as your primary coverage, you will have it.

Apply on the Phone

To enroll in Medicare by phone, simple contact your local Social Security office and tell them that you would like to apply for Medicare. You will likely be mailed some forms to complete and send back, so getting your coverage can take slightly longer than the online option.

Apply In-Person

This is the best option for folks who want to take care of their Medicare quickly. Simply look up your local social security office, and make an appointment to enroll.

Common Questions When Applying for Medicare

Need help applying?

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