Most of the time, Medicare enrollment periods differ among beneficiaries because they are determined by your 65th birthday or current employee health insurance. As you approach the age of 65, remember that timeliness is important when it comes to enrolling in and shopping for Medicare plans. Familiarize yourself with the Medicare timeline and key dates you need to know.
Your 64th birthday
It’s time to start doing your Medicare homework. You can choose between sticking with Original Medicare, adding a Medicare Supplement (MedSupp, Medigap) insurance plan or enrolling in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. We have a few resources to help you do your research and decide what coverage option is best for you:
- What are the differences between Original Medicare, MedSupp and Medicare Advantage?
- Six questions to ask if you are new to Medicare
- How do I get dental coverage when I retire?
- Filling in the gap – MedSupp vs. Medicare Advantage
- 10 myths about Medicare Advantage – busted!
Any questions? You can always reach out to Aspire Health Plan for help. We offer Monterey County’s only Medicare Advantage plan, and if you’d like to speak with a local Health Plan Advisor, give us a call at (866) 798-1530. TTY users can call 711.
Three months before your 65th birthday
Did you know that you can sign up for Medicare as early as three months before you turn 65? If you enroll at age 64 and nine months, you can ensure that you’re covered the month you turn 65. If you need help with choosing your Medicare coverage, we have a few tips for you.
Your 65th birthday month
Happy birthday! Make sure that you sign up if you haven’t. If you signed up before your birthday month, you’re eligible to receive benefits starting the month you turn 65. If you enroll during your birthday month then your coverage will begin on the first day of the month following your birthday. Remember that if you haven’t enrolled in Medicare Part B, make sure you do in the next three months to avoid penalties. If you have credible coverage that is a different path.
Three months after your 65th birthday
Make sure you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B by this date or you could get penalized with a late fee. However, if you’re working past 65, you may be able to delay enrolling in Medicare if you are already insured with your employer. We recommend consulting your employer’s benefits manager. They can help explain your employer group coverage and provide valuable information to help weigh your options. To help you out, we’ve also compiled six Medicare facts to consider if you work past 65 or continue to have employer group coverage in a previous blog post.
If you want more information about Aspire Health Plan (or Medicare in general), join us at one of our free Medicare seminars where you can learn the basics of Medicare with no obligation to enroll. We are located at 10 Ragsdale Drive, Suite 101 in Monterey, and we have walk-in office hours 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. We can also be reached over the phone. Call (855) 570-1600 for Member Services or call (866) 798-1530 for Sales. TTY users can call 711.