When You Turn 65

Medicare Initial Enrollment Period Computer Image

Back when 30 seemed old you may not have believed this day would come—the day you become eligible for Medicare. Welcome!

Turning 65 is a big life event, and thousands of baby boomers are doing it every day.*Here’s what you need to know right off the bat:

  • You must be 65 to enroll in Medicare—your spouse’s age doesn’t count.
  • You may enroll in Medicare even if you’re not collecting Social Security yet.
  • You may enroll in Medicare even if you work past age 65 and have employer coverage, or you are 65 and have coverage through your spouse’s employer.

When to Enroll in Medicare

Your first chance to sign up for Medicare is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). It happens around your 65th birthday and lasts a total of 7 months. It includes your birthday month plus the 3 months before and the 3 months after. It’s best to sign up early to avoid gaps in coverage and late enrollment penalties.

The month you turn 65

You may be enrolled in Medicare automatically if you currently receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. You’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail a few months before your 65th birthday. You still have an IEP during which you may make Medicare coverage decisions.

Words With Peter: Medicare Initial Enrollment Period

What is the “Medicare Initial Enrollment Period,” or “IEP”? When is it, and what happens if you miss it? Learn about it in this video

If you miss your IEP, all is not lost.

You can sign up later, but you could face some penalties if you wait too long.

learn more

Get Your Medicare Enrollment Dates

This simple tool will give you your IEP dates. Just enter your birthday or select the tab that matches your situation.

Enter your date of birth
Note: This information is used only to help calculate your enrollment dates.

Please enter a valid date.


Initial Enrollment Period: Turning 65 on

Enrollment Period

Birth Month (Or Month Prior if Born on the 1st)

Calendar
JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUG.
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.
Calendar
JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUG.
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.


Enter your retirement date or the date you're losing your employer coverage (whichever happens first).
Note: This information is used only to help calculate your enrollment dates.

Please enter a valid date.


Special Enrollment for Parts A and B: Retiring or losing coverage in .

ENROLLMENT PERIOD

RETIREMENT DATE (OR DATE YOUR COVERAGE ENDS)

Calendar
JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUG.
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.
Calendar
JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUG.
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.

Special Enrollment Period for Parts C and D: Retiring or losing coverage in

Calendar
JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUG.
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.
Calendar
JAN.
FEB.
MAR.
APR.
MAY
JUNE
JULY
AUG.
SEP.
OCT.
NOV.
DEC.

Were you born on the first of the month?

Your IEP begins and ends a month earlier if your birthday is on the first day of the month. If you were born on June 1, for example, then your IEP is February 1 – August 31.

How to Use Your Initial Enrollment Period

You have a lot of choices when it comes to Medicare. Your IEP is the time to make decisions about the kind of coverage you need.  You may:

  • Enroll in Part A, Part B or both.
  • Make other coverage choices if you enroll in both Parts A and B.

You must notify Medicare if you were enrolled in Part B automatically and choose to delay or refuse it. Follow the directions on the back of your Medicare card. Note that you could be charged a Part B premium penalty if you decide to enroll in Part B later, unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You know when, now learn how to enroll in Medicare.

You may have to enroll yourself. Even if you were automatically enrolled and received a Medicare card, you still may need to take action to get the coverage you want.

Learn more
ADVERTISEMENT

Turning 65?

Now’s the time to prepare for your initial enrollment in Medicare.  See UnitedHealthcare plans in your area at UHCMedicareSolutions.com or call UnitedHealthcare 7 days a week from 8a.m.- 8p.m. local time at 1-866-584-6886 TTY:711.

*Cohn, D. and Taylor, P. (2010, December 20). Baby boomers approach 65 - glimly. Retrieved from http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/12/20/baby-boomers-approach-65-glumly/