If you are a citizen age 65 or older and need medical insurance, congratulations! You are eligible to enroll in Medicare.
Medicare is separate from your Social Security application for income benefits. And you age into Medicare at 65, regardless of whether you are taking your retirement income benefits yet.
However, don’t expect Medicare to notify you when it’s time to sign up. You need to be mindful of the appropriate time to apply.
If you are already taking Social Security income benefits or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at age 65. Your card should arrive 1- 2 months before you turn 65.
If you are NOT taking retirement benefits just yet, then you will need to submit a Medicare application yourself.
The good news is, you only have to apply once, you do not have to apply every year. Your Medicare Parts A and B will automatically renew each year so long as you pay your premiums.
Initial Enrollment Period
Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Medicare Parts A, B and D last 7 months. This timeline begins 3 months before your 65th birthday month and runs for 3 months after your birth month. Enrolling in Medicare during your IEP will ensure you will have no late penalties. This is also important because there are also no pre-existing condition waiting periods.