Medicare: Enrolling

Written by: Patricia Barry of  AARP

Nobody is obliged to sign up for Medicare. But there are important consequences if you don’t meet your enrollment deadline and then decide to join the program later. As many have learned the hard way — better to sign up at the right time than regret it later. Your own deadline depends on which enrollment period fits your circumstances:


Initial enrollment period

Anyone who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident and is turning 65 is entitled to an initial enrollment period that lasts seven months — from three months before the month of their 65th birthday to three months after that month. For example, if you turn 65 in June, your enrollment period is March 1 to Sept. 30.

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