What Happens If I Don’t Sign Up for Medicare at 65?


For many, retirement’s been a long time coming. Historically, many people have looked forward to retiring at the age of 65.

Today, however, things have changed. As a result, some people prefer to continue to work. To learn more about what happens if you don’t sign up for Medicare at 65, keep reading.

Are You Automatically Enrolled in Medicare When You Turn 65?

In some instances, yes. For example, Medicare will enroll you for coverage automatically if you’re already receiving Social Security benefits. They may also do so if you receive Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits.

If you receive either benefit, Medicare will most likely enroll you for Part A and Part B coverage automatically. Your insurance will start on the very first day of the month that you turn 65.

If your birth date is the first of the month, however, you’ll receive an extra month’s coverage. Your insurance will start on the first day of the previous month.

Shortly before you’re eligible, you’ll receive a “Welcome to Medicare” package. Before your 65th birthday, about three months in advance, you’ll receive a welcome packet in the mail.

The package will also include your Medicare card. It’s important that you read the complete package carefully.

Also, if you receive disability payments, Medicare will enroll you for Part A and Part B coverage automatically. Alternatively, the agency might enroll you automatically after you receive Social Security or RRB benefits for two years. In this instance, you’ll receive your welcome package three months before the 25th month of receiving your disability benefits.

If this applies to you, however, you’ll need to make some decisions. First, you’ll need to make a choice regarding whether you want to keep Medicare Part B. If so, you’ll need to choose how to access Medicare coverage.

You’ll also need to figure out if you need Medicare prescription coverage. Also, you’ll need to contemplate whether you want, or need, to purchase a Medicare insurance gap policy.

Do I Have to Apply for Medicare?

If you don’t receive benefits from Social Security, you may have to sign up for Medicare. However, there are only certain times when Medicare accepts enrollment.

Also, it might make sense for you to sign up for Medicare part B right away. By signing up for Medicare at 65, you can avoid penalties.

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