Your Initial Enrollment Period (Open Enrollment¹) is when you can first sign up for Original Medicare (Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance)). It is a 7-month period that begins 3-months before the month you turn 65 and ends 3-months after the month you turn 65.
If you sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the first 3-months of your Initial Enrollment Period, in most cases, your coverage will start on the first day of your birthday month.
Some people have to sign up for Part A and/or Part B:
If you’re close to 65, but not getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare. Contact Social Security 3-months before you turn 65.
Some people get Part A and Part B automatically:
If you’re already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits, you’ll automatically get Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65. (If your birthday is on the first day of the month, Part A and Part B will start the first day of the prior month)
¹Private Insurance companies will referrer to Open Enrollment as being when you first sign up for Part B of Medicare. During this time, you do not answer health questions on your Medicare Supplement Insurance application.