Most US citizens and other designated individuals qualify for Medicare benefits starting on the first day of the month in which they reach age 65, UNLESS their birthday falls on the First Day of a month. In that case that person’s Medicare benefits should start on the first day of the month immediately preceding their age 65 birthday month. (Did I forget to tell you that Medicare is a FEDERAL program complete with all the if’s, and’s, but’s, unless, and other exceptions included?)
As a general rule, those under age 65, and receiving Social Security Disability Income Benefits may also qualify for Medicare Benefits after receiving such for at least twenty-four (24) months…The devil is in the details, so do your home work.
Enroll in Medicare by calling your local Social Security Office to set up an appointment, or go on-line to www.SSA.gov…look for the “Enroll in Medicare” link on the opening screen.
SSA has been your resource for Medicare enrollment from its beginning, so don’t be concerned that you are not connecting to “Medicare”. Medicare is the name for a room full of laws, rules and regulations, all administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)….and CMS corresponds with you via US Mail, not by phone and rarely by e-mail. If you receive a phone call, e-mail, or if some person comes knocking on your door, claiming to represent Medicare…ignore them. Just ask the for their CMS ID, and watch them disappear.
You may enroll in Medicare as early as three (3) months prior to your age 65 birthday month, or during that birthday month…and up to three (3) months following your age 65 birthday month, a seven (7) months window for all of you procrastinators. (Early enrollees can lock up the first day of their age 65 birthday month as their Benefits start date. Enrolling later will delay your start date.
For more on Medicare, go to www.medicare.gov, to get the facts and to learn how it benefits you.