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When to sign up for Medicare?

Ideally, it is best to sign up for Medicare early, but you can certainly wait until your 65 birthday. It is important to remember though that signing up late may incur penalties that increase your monthly payments permanently.

If you already receive Social Security benefits, you are automatically enrolled in Parts A and B. You can opt out of Part B, since is has a monthly cost. However, if you choose to keep it, the premium cost will be deducted from your Social Security benefits.

If you are not on Social Security, you have to sign up for Parts A and B yourself. Starting three months before your 65 birthday, there is a seven-month period referred to as an initial enrollment window that begins. This window closes three months after your birth month. To make certain you get coverage for when you turn 65, you need to sign up in the first three months.

You may be able to delay signing up for Medicare is you are still working and your employer is providing health insurance or if you happen to be on a working spouse’s health insurance plan. If you lose coverage provided by an employer, you must sign up for Medicare within eight months to avoid serious penalties when you enroll.