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Signing Up for Medicare - Part 1

The most common way to qualify for Medicare is when you are turning 65. You will have a specific time period, set by Medicare, to enroll in Part A and Part B Medicare. This is known as the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

If you are qualifying for Medicare by turning 65 you will have a 7 month window to enroll in Medicare. This window is based off of the month you turn 65. It starts 3 months prior to the month you turn 65 and extends 3 months past the month you turn 65. For example, if you are turning 65 in September your IEP begins in June and extends all the way through the month of December. If you are eligible, you may not have to pay a premium for Part A, but Part B will have a premium.

For those electing to sign up for Part B after their IEP a late-enrollment penalty may be assessed. This penalty can last as long as you have Part B and there may be a gap in your health coverage. However, one exception to this rule is being employed and having coverage through your company’s group health plan. If this applies to you check with your benefit coordinator, Medicare or contact our office.

In most cases, if you are already drawing your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits you should automatically be signed up for Part A and Part B. If you are not drawing your Social Security or RRB benefits and want to sign up for Medicare you can do so by signing up online at, visit your local Social Security office or give our office a call and we can help direct you.

If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at

Alabama Health Guidance is an independent insurance agency and is not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency.


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