Is Medicare Mandatory?

Medicare is a medical health insurance given to people who are 65 years of age and to people who are younger who have disabilities. Is this health insurance mandatory? No it is not. However, it is naturally given to people who are eligible for it and it comes with a lot of benefits. Read on to find out if this insurance can be delayed or rejected

When Can You Sign Up For Medicare?

As explained earlier, you have to be 65 and above to gain access to medicare. People who are disabled and people who have been diagnosed with end stage renal disease [1] or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [2] are also given access to Medicare insurance. Also, you have to be a citizen of the United States or must have been a permanent resident for at least five years.

You must also be qualified for benefits from the Social Security Administration and Railroad Retirement Board. When you are qualified for these, you naturally get enrolled into Medicare insurance and you receive a card. The card is given to you in about 3 months before your 65th birthday.

There are some periods you can enroll for Medicare. Medicare enrollment periods include the following:

  • Initial Enrollment Period: This period occurs 3 months before the 65th birthday of an individual. Sometimes, three extra months are given. During this period, an individual who is qualified can enroll for this insurance package.
  • General Enrollment Period: The general enrollment period is between 31st of January and 31st of March. During this period, people who failed to sign up during the initial enrollment period are given the chance to enroll.
  • Open Enrollment Period: This is also known as Annual Enrollment Period and it occurs between the 15th of October and 7th of December every year. During this period, you are allowed to make changes to your plans.
  • Special Enrollment Period: This period occurs for a short period and it is opened for people who failed to enroll during the general enrollment period.

You should know that these periods are not just for enrollment. You are allowed to make changes to your plans. You are given the chance to change your advantage plans during these periods.