Tips for staying on top of the Medicare timeline

ApexBlog - Medicare Timeline

If you’re nearing age 65, you’re almost ready to start enjoying the many benefits of Medicare. You may have heard that it can be complicated, but we see things differently. At ApexHealth, we want to help you learn how Medicare works, when to sign up and more. This includes staying on top of the Medicare timeline because it can help you plan ahead and avoid paying late enrollment penalties.

You’ll become Medicare-eligible on your 65th birthday, but you can sign up three months before, the month of and three months after this date. This period is known as your initial enrollment period (IEP). There are some exceptions (e.g., if you and/or your spouse are still working and have creditable coverage or if you and/or your spouse are active-duty service members) but it’s a good idea to check with your current employer or TRICARE and make sure.

If you delay enrolling in Part B and Part D, you could get hit with penalties, and no one wants that! Our advice? To avoid penalties, keep an eye on the calendar! Put all those great benefits Medicare has to offer to work for you at the earliest possible date and avoid penalties for enrolling late.

Age 64

Do your Medicare homework. Or make it easy on yourself – call us, and a knowledgeable ApexAssistant will give you the rundown. So simple.

Age 64 + 9 Months

Enroll now. You can sign up for Medicare as early as three months before you turn 65. Why not do it now, and make sure you’re covered the month you turn 65?

Age 65 – Your Birthday Month

Sign up if you haven’t. You’re eligible to receive benefits starting the month you turn 65, if you signed up before your birth month. (And you’ve got three months left to act if you want to avoid penalties.) If you enroll before your birth month then coverage usually begins the first day the month. If you enroll during your birth month then coverage begins the first day of the month after.

Age 65 + 3 Months

Make sure you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B by this date. After this point, you could get penalized with a late fee. (Don’t worry about getting locked into one plan. You get a chance to change plans every year, during the fall open enrollment period, also known as the Annual Election Period or AEP.)

What’s next?

Now’s the time to arm yourself with the facts, so you’re ready to make the best choice when it’s time to enroll. Call (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711) to speak with an ApexAssistant. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30 and seven days a week 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Oct. 1 through Mar. 31.


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