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When Does Medicare Start


Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and individuals with end-stage renal disease. Medicare coverage can include doctor visits, hospital stays, lab tests, and preventative care. You may sign up for Medicare three months prior to your 65th birthday through three months after it if you're eligible for Medicare benefits.

Definition and Brief History of Medicare

Medicare insurance provides coverage to people age 65 or older, younger people living with disabilities, and those with permanent kidney failure requiring regular dialysis. Medicare is a social insurance program, meaning that it's designed to protect society as a whole rather than just individuals. It was created in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and signed into law by his successor, Richard Nixon.

The program's roots date back to 1867 when Congress passed the Hospital Survey and Construction Act, which authorized payments to hospitals caring for Civil War veterans. Over time this system expanded until it included coverage for other groups such as retirees/disabled persons under 65 years old under Medicaid/Medicare Part A; workers who were too young for Social Security benefits but needed help paying out-of-pocket expenses under Medicaid/Medicare Part B; low-income children whose parents couldn't afford private health insurance plans through Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); pregnant women under 65 years old who didn't qualify for full Social Security benefits did not have enough money saved up yet either.

Early Enrolling

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/when-does-medicare-start/ by Rian Mcconnell on 2022-10-19T04:40:12.167Z

To enroll in Medicare, you must be 65 years old or older. If you are younger than 65 and enrolled in a health plan through your employer, you may want to continue that coverage after you reach age 65. You can pay for COBRA continuation coverage from your former employer or purchase a private health insurance on the open market.

If you're already a beneficiary of Social Security benefits during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins—which usually starts a few months prior to your 65th birthday—you should be automatically enrolled into Part B at that time. If not, you have until the end of your IEP to sign up for both A&B without charge; otherwise, a late enrollment penalty will apply unless there is an exception due to special circumstances (such as being out of the country). The amount of any penalty depends on how late coverage was purchased and what state you live in; contact us today if we can help answer any questions about Medicare eligibility!

Late Enrolling

If you're not enrolled in Medicare and haven't turned 65, there are a few ways to sign up:

  • If you work or own a business, the best time to enroll is at the start of each calendar year.
  • If you have a disability and didn't get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) before age 65, it's important that you apply within 24 months after turning 65. If SSDI is granted, then Medicare will be provided automatically.
  • If you receive Social Security benefits based on age or disability, those parts of Medicare will begin automatically when your first check arrives from the SSA. You only need to pay the Part B coverage premiums through payroll deductions or direct billing from your local Social Security office.

Special Cases for Medicare Eligibility

If you're still working or not collecting Social Security benefits, you can enroll for both Part A and Part B Medicare plan during the general enrollment period (October 15 to December 7). If you don't collect Social Security benefits, you can also enroll during this time. Suppose you're over 65 but disabled and have been receiving disability payments for at least 24 months. In that case, it doesn't matter when you apply—you may be eligible for a special registration period that allows immediate enrollment if certain events occur. These events include:

  • Your disability ends
  • You reach age 65
  • Your employer stops offering group health coverage

You can be eligible for Medicare if you receive disability benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits, you can register for Medicare three months before hitting your 65th birthday or three months after.

If you living with disability and are eligible for Medicare but haven't enrolled yet, there may be a penalty fee to pay. This is called the "late enrollee" penalty because it applies when someone delays applying for Part B of Medicare coverage beyond their 65th birthday. If this happens to you, your monthly premium will be higher than it would have been if you had applied earlier on time for enrollment when first eligible for coverage.

If you sign up in Medicare at the time of the general enrollment, your coverage will be effected on 1st July. However, if you wait until after 31st March to sign up for Medicare, your coverage will be effected from the first day of the following month.

What to Consider

When you sign up in Medicare, you can select a plan that best meets your needs. You can enroll online at any time, but if you wait until after your 65th birthday, it will be more complicated and may result in higher premiums. If you haven't yet turned 65, the best way to enroll is through the Medicare website or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Signing up for Medicare is not as simple as it sounds. It would be best to consider various factors when deciding which insurance plan is right for you and your family. It would help if you considered each option's meaning before deciding. To help guide you through this process, here are some things to consider:

The process of Signing up for Medicare

It's important to know that you can enroll for Medicare anytime, but your coverage will not start until July.

If you want to enroll in both Part A and B of Medicare plan during general enrollment from 1st January to 31st March annually, you can do so through the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you enroll before the end of March, SSA will pay your premiums for the rest of that calendar year plus the following year. This is called retroactive coverage.

If you decide to wait until April 1 to sign up for Medicare Part B or choose not to sign up at all, penalties are in place.


Ultimately, you'll want to ensure your bases are covered before signing up for Medicare. You can contact Social Security or enroll directly through their website anytime. However, it's best to take care of everything before your 65th birthday.

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About The Authors

Rian Mcconnell

Rian Mcconnell - Rian is a Villanova University graduate who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia with a medical degree. His residency was at Thomas Jefferson and its associated Wills Eye Hospital, and he finished his education with fellowships in cataract and corneal surgery at the University of Connecticut. He has a vast experience in ophthalmic surgery, with a focus on cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, and laser refractive procedures. He serves on the board of Vision Health International, an agency that provides eye care and surgery to indigent patients in Central and South America, in addition to his surgical practice.

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