Medicare is full of Acronyms. AEP, OEP, SEP, MADP, IEP, and so on. And everyone should know exactly what they mean, RIGHT?!?
Well, if you are soon to be 65, let’s just worry about one of these – IEP.
IEP stands for Initial Enrollment Period. This is the time when you are soon to be 65 years old OR first Enroll in Part B of Medicare. Unless you have other creditable coverage from an employer based plan or retirement plan, most of us Enroll in Part B of Medicare at or around the age of 65.
The time period around age 65 works like this:
It starts 3 months prior to your birth month
It includes your birth month
It ends 3 months after your birth month
This 7 month period (IEP) is when you can decide to and enroll in Part B of Medicare without any future Penalties for not enrolling when you turn 65.
So, How do I Enroll?
If you ARE receiving any type of Social Security Payments:
Social Security Retirement, or
Social Security Disability, or
Widow or Widowers Benefits
You will NOT have to Enroll in Medicare. You WILL BE Automatically Enrolled in both Parts A and B of Medicare. You will receive your Medicare Card (your Red, White, and Blue card) usually 2 to 4 months prior to your birth month. On the card, you will see your Medicare Claim number and Parts A and B effective dates. That’s Great News! You are enrolled without doing anything!
If you ARE NOT receiving any type of Social Security Payments:
You WILL have to notify the Social Security Administration that you want to Enroll in Medicare.
Here is How to do that:
Do it yourself at SSA.gov . It should only take you 10 to 15 minutes to do this. You will need to create an account on the Social Security website. Also, make sure that toward the end of the application that you choose Yes to enroll in Part B. You can sign up for Medicare Only here without signing up for Social Security Retirement Benefits.
Call your Local Social Security Office. When you call, they will make an appointment with you to come down to their office, wait in the lobby for 30 minutes for a 5 minute meeting.