When Can I Apply for Medicare?
This is a question that our office receives quite often. Generally, you can apply for Medicare 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. This is usually the optimal time to do this. You might be able to apply sooner than that but any plans or policies that you sign up for will still not go into effect until your 65th birthday. 3 months prior should still give you plenty of time to sign up with the Social Security Administration. You should also have time to review Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans that will help fill in the gaps of Original Medicare. If you are asking yourself, when can I apply for Medicare, there is probably much more information that you will need to know and speaking with a health insurance broker can be a great way to get started.
Why 3 Months Prior?
This is usually when the Social Security Administration will accept your application for Medicare. You may be able to do it sooner but you might also be told to come back when you get closer to your 65th birthday. You cannot sign up for any other policy without Medicare Parts A and B. 3 months ahead gives you plenty of time to shop for additional policies. Original Medicare only covers about 80% of your total medical expenses. It also does not cover prescription drugs. You will want to take your time shopping around to find a policy that best fits your needs. A health insurance broker can help provide you with all the information you will need to do this.
Some exceptions to this rule might be if you are eligible for disability. You might be able to sign up for Medicare prior to your 65th birthday. You can also sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan that may include dental, vision, and hearing for no additional cost. In Nevada, you cannot sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan unless you are 65. You might also hold off signing up if you have coverage with your employer. Most people will be automatically signed up for Part A since there usually is no charge. Although, if you plan on staying with your employer, you may wait to sign up for Part B. If you choose to wait, you will still have all the normal options available when you eventually do sign up for Part B.