Medicare eligibility is your ticket to Medicare coverage, from Part A and Part B to Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D. However, not everyone joins Medicare under the same circumstances. Eligibility also has different meanings for each Medicare plan.
Who Can Join Medicare?
Before you can join any Medicare plan, you must:
- Be 65 years or older
- Receive disability benefits for at least two years if under 65
If you meet one of the following criteria, you are automatically enrolled in Part A and Part B if you get benefits from:
- Social Security
- The Railroad Retirement Board
You have to be a U.S. citizen to join Medicare.
How Can I Get Premium-Free Part A?
Getting Part A with a $0 monthly premium depends on when you join and how long you’ve paid Medicare taxes.
You have to join Part A as soon as you’re eligible, and you need to have paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years (40 quarters).
What Do I Need To Have To Be Eligible For Each Medicare Part?
Joining Medicare Part A and Part B does not require joining any other form of Medicare beforehand.
As for the other Parts of Medicare, you will need:
- Medicare Part A and Part B to join Medicare Advantage
- Medicare Part A and/or Part B to join Part D
If you wish to get a Medicare Supplement Plan (also called Medigap), you must be enrolled in Part A and Part B.
You are ineligible for Medigap if:
- You have Medicare Advantage
- You receive Medicaid benefits
When Am I Able To Join?
You can join during these enrollment periods:
- Initial Enrollment – three months before you turn 65 to three months after
- General Enrollment – January 1 to March 31
- Special Enrollment – Varies based on circumstance
- Annual Enrollment – October 15 to December 7
You can join any Medicare plan during Initial Enrollment.
General Enrollment restricts enrollment to Part A and Part B.
With Special Enrollment, you have from April to June to join Part C and/or Part D (after joining Medicare during General Enrollment). Annual Enrollment also allows you to join Part C and/or Part D, as well as switch to other Part C and Part D plans.
For Medigap, you have six months to join after enrolling in both Medicare Part A and Part B. This is known as the Medigap Open Enrollment Period. After this enrollment period ends, you may not be able to get a Medigap plan.
Need Medicare Coverage? We Can Help
At Turning 65 Solutions, we will help you get the best of everything you’re eligible for. We provide a broad selection of plans to choose from, so you can get one that meets your needs to a tee. Call us today at 830-217-6711 to learn more.