Medicare Deadlines: When Do You Sign Up for Medicare?

Enrolling in Medicare isn’t always a one-and-done procedure. Once you become eligible, there are several points at which you can sign up for each of Medicare’s parts.

For most people, signing up for Medicare occurs during a 7-month initial enrollment period (IEP). The IEP starts 3 months before you turn 65 and continues for 3 months after your birthday.

Even with this time frame in mind, getting Medicare right can be confusing, and may also cost you in penalties if you get it wrong.

In this article, we’ll provide specific information about your eligibility and the time frame for signing up for Medicare.


If you’re currently receiving Social Security benefits and are under the age of 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B when you become 65. If you don’t wish to have Medicare Part B, you can decline it at that time.

If you’re not currently getting Social Security, you’ll have to actively enroll in Medicare.

Once you know the do’s and don’ts of signing up, the actual process is easy. The following factors are important to consider when enrolling in Medicare.

Your age

You may wish to put the wheels in motion by signing up for Medicare anytime during the 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. You can also sign up during the month you turn 65, as well as throughout the 3-month period following that date.

It’s important to note that if you delay signing up until the final 3 months of the IEP, the start of your medical coverage may be delayed.

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