If you are turning 65 in August then it’s time to apply for Medicare coverage. The Medicare sign up rule is set off of your birthday month. You have seven months to sign up for Medicare – 3 months before your birthday – your birthday month – and 3 months after. So for August birthdays here are the enrollment dates. Miss them and you may face a penalty for life. If you are already receiving Social Security, you do not need to sign up. Medicare will automatically send you your Medicare card.
First day you can enroll in Medicare – May 1
Last day you can enroll in Medicare - November 30
If you are still working, check with your employer about whether you need both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Most people need to sign up for Part A, but Part B may be optional while you are covered by your group plan. Always check with your current plan.
If you have an individual plan from the Marketplace, you will need to switch to a Medicare plan.
If you work for a company with less than 20 employees, you will need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B and switch from your employer coverage to Medicare.
A word of warning: The Medicare Annual Enrollment period is Oct. 15 – Dec. 7. If you wait until then to get your prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plan you will be in the midst of the busiest time of the year. Shop early – before your birthday to get the best service. Also you will pick one plan for 2015: but you will also want to shop during the annual enrollment period to compare plans for 2016. Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription plans can change price and benefits each year so you must compare to make sure your prescriptions are still covered and the plan is the best for you.
Need to know more? Click here for more information on Medicare.gov. A Longevity Alliance representative can help you understand Medicare sign up and your Medicare plan options. Call 1-800-713-6250 or request information at www.iquote.com.