If you are becoming eligible for Medicare soon, one thing you want to know is your Medicare effective date. Usually the Medicare effective date will be the first day of the month in which you turn 65. However, if your birthday is on the 1st of the month it will be the 1st of the prior month.
There are some other situations in which these examples may not be entirely accurate. An example would be if an individual decides to retire a few years after 65 and they want to delay their Medicare Part B benefits so they will not lose their Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplements. They could have a Medicare card with just Medicare Part A and no Medicare Part B effective date. Then upon retiring they could sign up for Medicare Part B and their Medicare effective date would be the 1st day of the month they choose.
Medicare Effective Date – Open Enrollment Period
Your Medicare effective date is important for your Open Enrollment Period. The Open Enrollment Period is the first 6 months in which you are 65 years of age AND have Medicare Part B. So if you are 69 and still do not have Medicare Part B your Open Enrollment Period has not begun.
Guaranteed Issue Periods – Medicare Supplement Insurance
There are also Guaranteed Issue Periods for Medicare Supplement Plans which allow you to sign up for certain plans without any health questions. These guaranteed issue rights are usually due to losing coverage (group health insurance or a Medicare Advantage Plan moves out of your service area).
Why should you delay your Medicare Effective Date?
Is is not recommended that someone delay their Medicare Part A coverage, since this is free for those who have worked 40+ quarters in their lifetime. The reason you would want to delay your Medicare Part B in certain cases would be to avoid paying the Medicare Part B premium as well as saving your enrollment periods for a time when you can use them.
If you need help supplementing the gaps in Original Medicare you should choose a Plan F Medicare Supplement. To view the rates in your zip code click on the following link: Medicare Supplement Rates.
1-800-800-1397 option 6 for Medicare Supplement Quotes