• Editorial 


    San Francisco, CA

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  • The web site will walk you step by step through the Medicare sign up process:

    If you decide that you would also like to sign up for supplemental Medicare coverage, you can instantly compare costs and coverage of various plans here:

    We wish you all the best and a healthy retirement!
    FREE Online Retirement Planning Services

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 5/17/2013
  • NewRetirement User

    54 year old

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  • This is the number one question that I get as a Medicare specialist.
    Because you are over the age of 65, we have to start differently.

    People over the age of 65 who didn't sign up for Medicare when first eligible are treated differently than people who are turning 65.
    The first step would be to determine whether you had "creditable coverage" from age 65 until today. If you haven't had creditable coverage, then it's a different process.

    Let's assume that you had creditable coverage. You can follow the steps outlined in the article: (and you can also download the free guide mentioned in the article and video). Basically you don't want to miss anything because the penalties can be severe.

    For example, lets assume that you did NOT have creditable coverage. You may have worked for a company with fewer than 20 employees, or you may have owned your own business with no employees. Or perhaps you retired at age 69 and were on COBRA, which is not considered creditable coverage.

    In this case you would not have a SEP-special enrollment period- and you would need to wait until the General Enrollment Period (GEP) in order to enroll in Medicare. The GEP has nothing to do with the annual enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans. The GEP is from Januaray 1 through March 31st. Once you enroll in the GEP your coverage will start the following January.

    So lets say you missed this years GEP, because you had COBRA until 03/31, and you didn't realize that you had to enroll during the GEP. So you contacted Social Security on April 03rd to enroll.

    You would then have to wait until the following year to enroll, and then your coverage wouldn't start until July 1st.

    Missing the deadlines can have a huge impact on your financial goals. So be sure to get it right.

    Katherine Kline

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 4/25/2019
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.