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How and When Do I Sign up for Medicare?

Do you know how and when to sign up for Medicare? Watch this week's Arista Advice to find out all the details.

Full Transcript: 

Hello, welcome to Arista Advice. 

Question of the week is: "Paul, how and when do I sign up for Medicare?" Medicare enrollment is automatic for many.

For those receiving Social Security benefits, the coverage starts on the first day of the month that you turn 65. If you're not receiving Social Security benefits at 65, you may be delaying until you reach full retirement age or until you reach 70.

If you're coming up on 65 and not receiving Social Security benefits, you can still apply for Medicare coverage. If you're getting Social Security checks and approaching 65, you'll get a Medicare card in the mail three months before your 65th birthday. 

If you are getting Social Security disability insurance, regardless of your age, the card is scheduled to arrive coincidentally with your 25th month of disability.

When can you add or drop forms of Medicare coverage? Medicare has enrollment periods that allow you to do this. The initial enrollment period is 7 months long. It starts 3 months before the month in which you turn 65 and ends 3 months after that month. You can enroll in any type of Medicare coverage within this seven-month window.

Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you can only make changes in coverage during certain periods of time. For example, the open enrollment period for Part D is October 15th to December 7th, such as now, with Part D coverage starting January 1.

Do you have questions about eligibility or the eligibility of your parents? Your first stop should be the Social Security Administration. You can visit your local Social Security administration office or visit SocialSecurity.gov Medical to determine your eligibility, or you can also visit Medicare.gov, and/or www.CMS.gov.

Please visit AristaWealth.com or the Arista Wealth podcast to get additional topics, tools, tips, and videos, and give us a call to discuss this and any other questions.