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When Do I Become Eligible for Medicare?

Everyone becomes eligible to receive Medicare benefits once they turn 65 years old. However, depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for Medicare earlier.

If you are under the age of 65 and meet any of the following criteria, you may be eligible for Medicare:

  • You have received at least 24 months of Social Security disability benefits
  • You have a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board
  • You have Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • You have permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant

When Can I Enroll in Medicare?

Under the current system, you can enroll in Medicare up to 3 months before you become eligible, the month you become eligible, and then 3 months after you become eligible. This 7-month period is known as the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

If you are about to become eligible for Medicare, you may want to start shopping soon. If you miss your IEP, you may have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).

When Can I Change My Medicare Plan?

Are you already enrolled in Medicare and want to change your plan? If so, you can make any changes during the Annual Enrollment Period, starting on October 15. Be on the lookout for an Annual Notice of Coverage, which you should receive from your insurance company by mail during the weeks leading up to the Annual Enrollment Period, also called Open Enrollment.

Whether you are enrolling in Medicare for the first time or are interested in reviewing and possibly changing your plan, HealthMarkets can help.

We have local, licensed agents nationwide who will work with you to compare your options and find the best available plan. We’ll find a plan that fits your needs and your budget, and we’ll do it at no cost to you.


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