When Can You Start Getting Medicare?Posted by Medicare Made Clear
A somewhat cynical old saying declares that only two things in life are guaranteed: death and taxes. But there’s also something positive you can count on, and that’s Medicare.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that U.S. citizens and qualified legal residents are guaranteed access to once they reach eligibility. (To qualify as a legal resident, you must have lived in the U.S. for at least five years in a row leading up to your eligibility date.)
There are a few ways to become eligible for Medicare. The most common one is your age.
At What Age Do You Get Medicare?
You are eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. You may be working, not working or retired. You may or may not be receiving Social Security or other retirement benefits. As far as Medicare eligibility goes, your age is what matters.
It’s important to note that Medicare is individual insurance. It’s your age that counts, not your spouse’s, even if you are both covered by the same employer insurance when one of you turns 65.
Also, Medicare is separate from Social Security, and they have different eligibility requirements. The age for Medicare eligibility is 65. The age for full Social Security benefits depends on what year you were born.
Signing Up for Medicare at Age 65
You can first sign up for Medicare during your 7-month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). Your IEP includes the month you turn 65, the three months before, and the three months after.
You’ll be enrolled in Medicare automatically when you turn 65 if you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. You’ll get your Medicare card in the mail.
If you’re not enrolled automatically at age 65, then you’ll need to sign up for Medicare yourself when you’re ready.
For more Medicare information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.