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When can I sign up for Medicare and when will coverage start?

When can I sign up for Medicare and when will coverage start?

Those who retire at age 65 and have not yet received social security benefits have six months to enroll in Medicare. The application process can begin as soon as three months prior to your birth date and ends three months after your birth date. If the application is not completed within these six months, the individual will need to wait for the general enrollment period and will likely need to pay a late-enrollment penalty.

Those who retire at 65 but began receiving social security benefits before 65 will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. An application is not necessary.

Some work past 65 and might be covered under an employee group health plan. Because Medicare Part B has a premium, these individuals may want to delay the beginning of their coverage. Such individuals will use a Special Enrollment Period to sign up when ready.

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