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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Medigap eligibility for Americans under age 65 varies by state photo

Medigap eligibility for Americans under age 65 varies by state

April 29, 2020 – There are no federal rules guaranteeing access to Medigap plans for enrollees under age 65, but states can create their own rules to ensure… Read more

How do I change my Medicare coverage? photo

How do I change my Medicare coverage?

April 27, 2020 – Thousands of Medicare beneficiaries change their coverage each year during several enrollment windows. Find out how and when you can switch… Read more

What is the income-related monthly adjusted amount (IRMAA)? photo

What is the income-related monthly adjusted amount (IRMAA)?

March 23, 2020 – For high-income Medicare beneficiaries, Part B and Part D premiums will include an additional charge based on MAGI.… Read more

The Medicare Part B Special Enrollment Period photo

The Medicare Part B Special Enrollment Period

March 7, 2020 – The Medicare Part B SEP allows people to delay Part B enrollment if they have health coverage through their own employer or a spouse’s… Read more

Four reasons to change your Medicare Advantage coverage photo

Four reasons to change your Medicare Advantage coverage

January 29, 2020 – Medicare's most recent open enrollment period wrapped up in December, but if you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and you're not… Read more

Four ways to save money on your Medicare Part B premiums photo

Four ways to save money on your Medicare Part B premiums

January 10, 2020 – Medicare Part B – which covers doctor visits, diagnostics, and preventive care – charges participants a premium. Those premiums are a… Read more

Am I eligible for Medicare health coverage? photo

Am I eligible for Medicare health coverage?

January 10, 2020 – Eligibility for Medicare coverage depends on factors that include your work history, health status, and residency status. Check your… Read more

How do I enroll in Medicare? photo

How do I enroll in Medicare?

January 5, 2020 – Learn how and when to enroll in Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Part D coverage. Get plan information and a free quote… Read more

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

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

January 4, 2020 – The complexities associated with deciding whether and when to enroll in Medicare Part B are extensive, with treacherous outcomes across the… Read more

Plan year 2020 and 2021 Medicare enrollment dates at a glance photo

Plan year 2020 and 2021 Medicare enrollment dates at a glance

January 4, 2020 – Beyond your initial opportunity to enroll in Medicare plans, the federal government provides other windows for enrollment and plan changes… Read more

2020 Medicare coverage costs at a glance photo

2020 Medicare coverage costs at a glance

January 3, 2020 – Here's a quick guide to what Medicare beneficiaries can expect in 2020 for each type of Medicare… Read more

Three Medicare open enrollment mistakes to avoid at all costs photo

Three Medicare open enrollment mistakes to avoid at all costs

October 11, 2019 – Can't wait to make changes to your Medicare coverage during open enrollment? Just know that open enrollment can also be an occasion for… Read more

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Making the move from Obamacare to Medicare

September 29, 2019 – People have been transitioning from individual coverage to Medicare for decades, but the process has been a little different since… Read more

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Important Medicare enrollment dates

September 17, 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

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Medicare eligibility for ALS and ESRD patients

January 10, 2019 – Eligibility for Medicare includes persons over age 65, those with disabilities, and those with two specific diseases: End Stage Renal… Read more