Eligibility & Enrollment

Medicare Enrollment Periods

Are you 65 or older? Are you eligible for Medicare because of disability? Are you losing your health care coverage from your employer? Depending on your circumstances, you have a certain amount of time to enroll in Medicare. Learn more by reading Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods (PDF).

  1. I. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

In most cases, you become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. You may enroll in Medicare Parts A and B up to three months before the month of your birthday, and up to three months after the month of your birthday. If you enroll prior to the month of your birthday, your Medicare start date will be on the first day of your birth month.* *If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your enrollment period is slightly different, read Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods above.

There are two ways to sign up:

  • Enroll in Medicare on the Social Security Website
    You will need to create an account if you don't already have one.
  • Call Social Security to request an appointment.
    • National Toll-Free Number : 800-772-1213
    • Local area office number in Lynn: 866-366-7792

If you enroll in this month of your initial enrollment period:

  • Up to 3 months before your birth month
  • The month you turn 65
  • 1 month after you turn 65
  • 2 months after you turn 65
  • 3 months after you turn 65

Your coverage starts on the first day of:

  • Your birth month
  • The month following enrollment
  • 2 months after enrollment
  • 3 months after enrollment
  • 4 months after enrollment

Do I have to enroll? Doesn't Social Security know I am turning 65? 

  • If you are already receiving Social Security Payments, either due to applying for early retirement or SSDI, you do not need to contact Social Security to enroll. You will be auto-enrolled and your card will be mailed to you prior to your start date. Otherwise, you must initiate contact with Social Security.

Is the Initial Enrollment Period the only time I can apply?

  • Other than the IEP, there are other situations when you can enroll in Medicare. The most common are
  1. II. Special Enrollment Period: Retirement or Loss of Employer Group Coverage
  1. III. Under 65 & Disabled for 24 Months
  1. IV. General Enrollment Period