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At 65 you may be looking forward to different things: having grandchildren perhaps, possibly retiring from your career, or taking some trip that you’ve dreamed of your whole life. Sixty-five may also be a significant year for you as it may be the first year that you’re eligible for Medicare. Medicare is the government health insurance program that provides hospital (Part A) and medical (Part B) insurance to people 65 and older and some under who 65 who qualify because of a disability. Medicare Part A and Part B are called Original Medicare.
You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you become eligible. Learn the difference between signing up for Medicare automatically and manually.
Signing up for Medicare automatically
You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare if you
If you are signed up for Medicare automatically, your Medicare card will be mailed to you three months before your 65th birthday. Your Medicare benefits will start on the first day of the month you turn 65. If your birthday is the first of the month, your benefits will start on the first day of the previous month.
You can be sure that you address is updated for Medicare by going to your My Social Security account online.
Signing up for Medicare manually
If you don’t get Medicare automatically, you can manually sign up for Medicare.
To sign up for Medicare manually, you can:
You might not be getting retirement benefits when you turn 65 because you are still working. In this case, you will have to sign up for Medicare when you retire and lose your employer health care coverage. When your employer coverage ends, you may have a special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare Part B without receiving a late-enrollment penalty.
Generally your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B but didn’t sign up for it. Similarly, you Part A monthly premium may go up by 10% if you didn’t enroll when you were first eligible. However, most people qualify for premium-free Part A and therefore are also exempt from the Medicare Part A late-enrollment penalty.
When you are eligible to sign up for Medicare at 65 you may want coverage in addition to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). This could include:
You also may want a Medicare Advantage plan.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.