How to Get Started with Medicare if You’re Turning 65

Getting Medicare is a significant milestone. If you’re turning 65 soon, it’s a good idea to start preparing so you’ll get your coverage as soon as you are eligible for it. If you’re based in North Carolina, our local Medicare agents can help. 

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn
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Who is Medicare for?

Medicare is health insurance that’s designed for anyone 65 or older, whether you’re based in Charlotte, Durham, Cary, or anywhere else in North Carolina or the U.S.A. You’re eligible to sign up for Medicare three months before turning 65. Depending on your circumstances, you might also be eligible to get Medicare before 65. This typically applies if you have a disability, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). 

Understanding when your Medicare coverage starts

The first step is to understand when your coverage begins. Suppose you sign up for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (medical insurance) during the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period. In that case, your coverage starts the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage starts the first day of the prior month.

For example:

  • Mr. Thompson’s 65th birthday is August 20, 2022. So if he signs up for Medicare in April, May, or June, his coverage will start August 1, 2022.

  • Mrs. Scott’s 65th birthday is August 1, 2022. If she signs up for Medicare in March, April, or May, her coverage will start July 1, 2022.

What if I don’t sign up during the first three months before I turn 65?

If you don’t sign up during the first 3 months, your coverage won’t begin the month of your birthday and will start based on when you sign up.

If you sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B in this month:

Your coverage starts:

The month you turn 65

1 month after you sign up

1 month after you turn 65

2 months after you sign up

2 months after you turn 65

3 months after you sign up

3 months after you turn 65

3 months after you sign up

During the January 1- March 31 General Enrollment Period

July 1

Note: Medicare late enrollment penalties can be applied if you are late to enroll and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period

Note: Medicare late enrollment penalties can be applied if you are late to enroll and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Find out more about how this could impact you.

How do I get Medicare?

If you’re based in North Carolina and have questions about whether it’s mandatory to sign up for Medicare or what happens if you don’t sign up for Medicare at 65, our Medicare agents NC can help. Getting Medicare shouldn’t be a hassle. Find out how to get Medicare by chatting to independent Medicare agents today. Our locally based North Carolina Medicare agents can help you compare plans and options. 

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