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Three Important Things You Need To Know About Medicare Enrollment

It’s that time of year again; Open Enrollment for Medicare! So start checking your mail,

and review your 2024 “Medicare & You” handbook, because the window for signing up

has officially opened.

1. People are eligible for Medicare for different reasons.

More commonly, people become eligible for Medicare once they turn 65, but

some Americans sign up a bit earlier, depending on their health history.

According to, among those that can sign up earlier include “those who

have received Social Security Disability Insurance or certain Railroad Retirement

Board (RRB) disability benefits for at least 24 months. If they have amyotrophic

lateral sclerosis (ALS), there’s no waiting period for Medicare. Some people with

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) may be eligible for Medicare.”

2. Some people get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B

(Medical Insurance) automatically and some people need to sign up

for them. states that, “people living in the United States and U.S. Territories

(except Puerto Rico) who are already collecting Social Security—either disability

or retirement—are automatically enrolled into Part A and Part B when they’re

first eligible. These people will get a packet of information a few months before

they turn 65 or receive their 25th month of Social Security Disability or Railroad

Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. At that time, they can choose to keep or

decline Part B, but can’t decline Part A unless they withdraw their original

application for Social Security and pay back all Social Security cash benefits.”

People who aren’t yet collecting Social Security, or aren’t eligible for Social

Security Retirement, aren’t automatically enrolled into Medicare and they need

to sign up by contacting Social Security.

3. There is a window for Open Enrollment.

It’s important to not miss your sign-up window for Medicare, so be sure you

know the exact dates for your circumstances.

● Initial Enrollment Period: This is a seven-month period when someone is

first eligible for Medicare. For those eligible due to age, this period begins three

months before they turn 65, includes the month they turn 65 and ends three

months after they turn 65. For those eligible due to disability, this period begins

three months before their 25th month of disability payments, includes the 25th

month, and ends three months after. By law, coverage start dates vary depending

on which month the person enrolls and can be delayed up to three months.

● General Enrollment Period: January 1 through March 31 each year with

coverage starting July 1.

● Special Enrollment Period (SEP): This is an opportunity to enroll in

Medicare outside the Initial Enrollment Period or General Enrollment Period for

people who didn’t enroll in Medicare when first eligible because they or their

spouse are still working and have employer-sponsored Group Health Plan

coverage based on that employment. Coverage usually starts the month after the

person enrolls, but can be delayed up to 3 months in limited circumstances.

People who are eligible for Medicare based on disability may be eligible for a

Special Enrollment Period based on their or their spouse’s current employment.

They might be eligible based on a spouse or family member’s current

employment if the employer has 100 or more employees.

We understand that trying to decipher Medicare information is confusing, and

sometimes frustrating; which is why our mission is to make Medicare easy.

Give Medicare Specialist Teri Wiley a call today and let her guide you through the vast world of Medicare . 360-208-8558

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