Wayne Wong

CA Lic #0C12801

5.0 out of 5

  • 2015 Q St, #A, Sacramento, CA 95811


If you're turning 65 but you don't have Social Security, what are the steps to enroll in Medicare?

If you qualify for Medicare but are not receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you can enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during three different time periods.

1. Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

You have a seven-month period to enroll in Medicare that starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and ends three months after your birthday. The start date of your Medicare coverage is determined by when you enroll.

  • Your Medicare coverage will start from the month you become eligible if you enroll during the first three months of your IEP.

  • If you sign up for your IEP during months four to seven, your coverage will start from the following month after you enroll.

If you will turn 65 in the month of June, refer to this chart to find out the appropriate time for enrolling in Medicare and the date when your coverage would begin.

If you were born on the first of the month, your IEP will cover the seven months before the month of your birth. For instance, if you turn 65 on June 1st, your IEP will start from February 1st and will end on August 31st.

2. Part B Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for job-based insurance.

If you had job-based insurance or coverage based on your spouse's current work when you first became eligible for Medicare, you can delay your enrollment in Part B without any penalty during this Part B SEP period, which is a time outside of normal enrollment periods triggered by specific circumstances.You can enroll in Medicare without penalty for up to eight months after you lose your group health coverage or you (or your spouse) stop working, whichever comes first. Medicare coverage begins the first month after you enroll. For example, if you retire and sign up for Medicare in February, your coverage will begin March 1. To avoid a gap in coverage, enroll in Medicare the month before your job-based insurance will end.

If you live in an area that was impacted by a government-declared state-of-emergency or disaster and could not enroll in Medicare on time, you may be eligible for Special Enrollment Periods. These periods are also available for other uncommon situations.

3. General Enrollment Period (GEP).

If you missed signing up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period or special enrollment period, you can still enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP). The GEP happens every year from January 1 through March 31, and your coverage will begin the first day of the month after you enroll. However, if you enroll during the GEP, you may have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty and experience some gaps in coverage.

© Wayne Wong 2023