How Long Before You Turn 65 Do You Apply For Medicare (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 months

Everyone should apply for Medicare 3 months before someone turns 65. The Initial Enrollment Period would be around 7 months. If someone misses enrolling for Medicare, then the person may have to pay penalties for late enrollment. Once someone signed up for Medicare, then coverage would start from the first day of the enrolled months.

If a person qualifies for the Premium-free Part A coverage, then the coverage would start from the birthday month when the person turned 65. If the person celebrates their birthday on the first of the month, then the coverage would begin from the previous months for Premium free Part A.

For Premium Part-B and Premium Part-A, the coverage would start from the signed-up month.

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How Long Before You Turn 65 Do You Apply For Medicare?

Medicare How Long Before You Turn 65 Do You Apply For Medicare
Maximum time3 months
Minimum time2 months

Medicare comes as a great health care program for all people above age 65. Younger people can also enroll in programs with disabilities. The criteria for certain disabilities would be given under the program. All those people with End-Stage Renal Disease could enroll under the Medicare health program. There are mainly 3 parts of the Medicare health program.

These are Medicare Part-A, Medicare Part-B, and Medicare Part-D. Medicare Part-A deals with hospital insurance and covers many benefits to the patients in the hospitals. Medicare Part-B covers medical insurance. In Medicare Part-B the doctor’s services, preventive services, and medical supplies are covered.

There are many other benefits, such as outpatient care being provided to the enrolled person under Medicare Part-B. Medicare Part-D is the third part of the health program. This covers the prescription drug coverage. In this part, the person’s prescription drug cost is covered.

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After the person enrolled in the Medicare program, then the person has to make a choice between the Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Original Medicare
The plan combines both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. The person has to pay for all the services provided to the person. The Original Medicare will not cover and pay for all the services. It would pay for the majority of the health care services. People who opt for the Original Medicare will have to do Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.

In this policy, the remaining services would be paid to the person such as co-payments, deductibles, and coinsurance.

Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage is provided by a private company. This Medicare-approved plan would work as an alternative for the Original Medicare. Under these programs, the person’s drug and health costs would be covered. The program would cover Part D, Part B, and part A. This plan would have many health benefits that are not covered under the Original Medicare.

The Medicare coverage rules are supposed to be followed by the enrolled person.

Why You Have To Apply For Medicare This Long Before You Turn 65?

Applying before 3 months of someone turning 65 is vital. As the Initial Enrollment Period provided under the policy is around 7 months. The Medicare application takes some time to get approved as there would be few verifications. If someone is getting Social Security Benefits, then the person would get enrolled automatically without applying for it.

The benefits of Medicare can’t begin earlier than the age of 65. If someone skips applying for the Medicare programs at age 65, then the person may have to pay a late penalty. The late penalty may not be applicable in the case of everyone. The Medicare application would ask for many important documents such as Social security numbers, and citizenship status.

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The verification of these documents would require some time, and the person would get approved for the programs only if all the documents are given correctly. The Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare is fixed earlier keeping many guidelines and policies in consideration.

Therefore everyone should stick to the period of enrollment for not coming under the risk of any extra surcharge on the Medicare Part-B Premiums.

Conclusion

It’s always good to apply for Medicare before turning 65. People should choose the program correctly as the benefits in each plan would not be exactly similar to the other plan. It’s important to fulfill all the eligibility criteria required for Medicare. People who are still working can also apply for the Medicare program after completing all the conditions.

If someone applies just before the month of turning 65, then the benefits would start on the month when the person turns 65. If someone signed up one month after turning 65, then the person would get the benefits 2 months after signing up.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/qje/article-abstract/124/2/597/1905082
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272705000885