February 04, 2021
How Can I Sign up for Medicare and Choose a Plan
|Some people get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically, and other people need to sign up through Social Security
If you’re over 65 (or turning 65 in the next 3 months) and not already getting benefits from Social Security, you need to sign up to get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) . You won’t get Medicare automatically.pand
If you’re already get benefits from Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you’re first eligible and don’t need to sign up. Medicare will send you a “Welcome to Medicare” packet 3 months before you turn 65. You’ll still have other important deadlines and actions to take, so read all of the materials in the packet. (If you live in Puerto Rico, you’ll only get Part A. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it.).
In most cases, if you don’t sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and Part B when you’re first eligible, your enrollment may be delayed and you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
When can I join a Medicare health or drug plan?
When you first become eligible for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65)), you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) or Medicare drug plan.
There are specific times when you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage) or a Medicare drug plan, or make changes to coverage you already have.
You may have a chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period when certain life events happen (like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage). Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP. Learn more about Special Enrollment Periods.
Can I make changes to my coverage at any other times?
You can make changes to your coverage after December 7 during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1–March 31 each year).
· If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage), you can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan (with or without drug coverage).
· You can drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare. You’ll also be able to join a Medicare drug plan.
Find a health or drug plan
Shop for and compare health and drug plans that meet your needs. You can also enter your drugs to get more accurate costs for plans in your area.
How do I buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy?
If you have Original Medicare, Medigap can help pay some of the remaining health care costs for covered services and supplies, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. The best time to buy a Medigap policy is during your 6-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period automatically starts the month you’re 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), and it can’t be changed or repeated.