Medicare Eligibility & Enrollment | AARP® Medicare Plans from UnitedHealthcare®

Medicare Eligibility and Enrollment

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Who can get Medicare?

U.S. citizens and legal residents living in the U.S. for at least five years in a row are eligible for Medicare. One of the following must also be true:

  • You are age 65 or older.
  • You are younger than 65 with a qualifying disability    .
  • You are any age and have End Stage Renal Disease(ESRD)    .

When can you first enroll in Medicare?

You can sign up for Medicare during certain enrollment periods. Each has a specific purpose.

What is automatic enrollment?

You may be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65 if you are already getting benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).

If you are automatically enrolled, you will receive your Medicare card and materials three months before your 65th birthday. The materials will explain your choices and what you need to do next.

If you are not receiving Social Security or RRB benefits when you turn 65, then you will need to contact a Social Security office to enroll in Medicare. You can do this up to three months before your 65th birthday.

When can you change your Medicare coverage?

You have the chance to change your Medicare coverage during one of the following three time periods:

  • Medicare Open Enrollment: This is when you can make new Medicare choices to better meet your needs in the coming year. It occurs every year from October 15 through December 7.
  • Special Election Periods (SEPs): This is when you can change your coverage outside of Medicare Open Enrollment. You must meet certain requirements to qualify for an SEP.
  • Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP): This is allows you to drop a Medicare Advantage plan purchased during the previous Open Enrollment and return to Original Medicare. It occurs every year from January 1 through February 14. If the Medicare Advantage plan included drug coverage, then you can enroll in a standalone prescription drug plan at this time.

What do you want to do next ? 


Or learn about Medicare coverage choices