What Happens If I Delay Enrolling in Medicare?
Although there’s a possibility the age requirement will go up to 67 in the future, Americans currently are eligible for Medicare benefits when they turn 65. Some people are eligible earlier due to disability, but for most Americans Medicare coverage begins at age 65.
Some Americans need to sign up for Medicare. If you’re not receiving Social Security benefits yet, you’re among those who need to sign up. It is recommended that you contact the Social Security Administration three months before turning 65 if you’re not receiving Social Security benefits and want to enroll in Medicare. To sign up for Medicare in minutes, visit medicare.gov.
If your eligibility begins when you’re 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. If you become eligible for Medicare prior to reaching 65, you have a similar seven-month enrollment period starting three months before the month your Medicare eligibility begins.
What If You Delay Enrolling in Medicare?
If you don’t sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period, you’ll still have the opportunity to do so during each subsequent year’s General Enrollment Period. You may also have the opportunity to sign up during certain Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs).
You should be aware, however, that failure to enroll in Medicare when you’re first eligible can result in late enrollment penalties. If you fail to enroll in Medicare Part B during your Intitial Enrollment Period, your monthly premium may increase by 10% for each full 12-month period in which you were eligible for Part B but didn’t sign up for it. If you’re not eligible for premium-free Part A coverage, your monthly premium may go up 10% for twice the number of years you were eligible for Part A but didn’t sign up for it. Signing up for Medicare when you’re first eligible is the best way to avoid having to pay an enrollment penalty.
Prompt Medicare enrollment can help ensure your coverage begins when you’re 65. If you sign up during the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period, you can be assured that coverage will start on the first day of the month your birthday falls in. If your birthday is on the first of the month, coverage will begin the first day of the prior month. Waiting longer to enroll in Medicare will result in unwanted delays in coverage.
Although you will have later opportunities to enroll in Medicare if you fail to do so during your Initial Enrollment Period, chances are you’ll want to enroll as soon as you become eligible.
If you’d like to discuss your options with one of our licensed, bonded representatives, contact MedicareMall now and we’ll be happy to lead you through the Medicare maze with confidence.