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Medicare eligibility and enrollment

When it comes to Original Medicare, your enrollment could be as uncomplicated as opening your mail and putting your Medicare card in your wallet. Unfortunately, it’s usually not.

For some Americans – specifically those who are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits and are U.S. resident – the government automatically enrolls you in both Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B at age 65. But millions of Americans who are drawing closer to aging into Medicare eligibility have a long list of choices to make and some important deadlines to note.

This Enrollment section answers many of the questions that should be top of mind for prospective Medicare beneficiaries. But we also look at changes you can make – and when you can make them – if you’re already enrolled in Medicare coverage. Among the topics we cover:

Still have questions about enrollment? We have an entire section of frequently asked Medicare questions devoted to the topic.

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At a glance: 2019 Medicare premium, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs

2019 Medicare coverage costs at a glance

May 30, 2019 – Here's a quick guide to what Medicare beneficiaries can expect in 2019 for each type of Medicare… Read more

2019 Medicare enrollment dates at a glance

2019 Medicare enrollment dates at a glance

May 30, 2019 – Beyond your initial opportunity to enroll in Medicare plans, the federal government provides other windows for enrollment and plan changes… Read more

How do I enroll in Medicare?

How do I enroll in Medicare?

May 3, 2019 – With Original Medicare, enrollment can be as easy as opening your mail and putting your Medicare card in your wallet. For some other plans,… Read more

Important Medicare Dates

Important Medicare enrollment dates

May 3, 2019 – Enrollment dates for Medicare are critical. Missing an enrollment date could cost you higher premiums down the line — or it could cost… Read more

Am I eligible for Medicare?

Am I eligible for Medicare health coverage?

May 1, 2019 – For the vast majority of Americans who look forward to receiving Original Medicare health benefits, eligibility is as uncomplicated as… Read more

Enrollees aging into Medicare face a multitude of options. Delaying Part B enrollment is one you should approach carefully.

Why you can’t afford to get Medicare Part B wrong

April 18, 2019 – The complexities associated with deciding whether and when to enroll in Medicare Part B are extensive, with treacherous outcomes across the… Read more

Thousands of Medicare enrollees take a hard look at their Medicare coverage – and decide to switch – each year.

How do I change my Medicare coverage?

February 20, 2019 – There are a variety of reasons you might want to make a leap to new Medicare coverage, but the options for coverage switches are limited.… Read more

Eligibility for Medicare includes persons over age 65, those with disabilities, and those with two specific diseases: End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Medicare eligibility for ALS and ESRD patients

February 1, 2019 – Eligibility for Medicare includes persons over age 65, those with disabilities, and those with two specific diseases: End Stage Renal… Read more

The transition from individual health coverage to Medicare isn't automatic.

Making the move from Obamacare to Medicare

January 27, 2019 – People have been transitioning from individual coverage to Medicare for decades, but the process has been a little different since… Read more