When can I start the enrollment process for Medicare?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | MassHealth, Medicaid/Medicare

As you approach retirement age, Medicare enrollment has probably been on your mind. Medicare (or MassHealth as it’s called in Massachusetts) serves a critical function, as it allows retired individuals and those with certain terminal illnesses to get the prescription drugs, doctors visits and other services that they require. Make sure that you do not inadvertently miss important filing deadlines, so that you can get the benefits that you require.

Automatic enrollment

The good news is that, under certain circumstances, you may be eligible for automatic enrollment in MassHealth. For example, if you are already receiving monthly benefits from Social Security, then MassHealth will automatically enroll you on the first day of the month in which you turn 65 years old.

If you do not qualify for automatic enrollment, then you will have to file your application manually with the Social Security Administration.

Manual enrollment

If you can, it is best to sign up for MassHealth up to three months before your 65th birthday, since that is the earliest point at which you can enroll. The longer you wait to enroll, the longer it will take to receive your benefits.

In order to complete the enrollment process, you will first need to gather the proper documentation. You will need official documentation of proof of income, proof of health insurance coverage, proof of citizenship or immigration status and your social security number. You can go through the enrollment process yourself, or you can hire an attorney to fill out the proper paperwork and file it on your behalf.

Planning for the future is not always an easy, and the Medicare process can feel overwhelming and complex at times. But by taking steps to plan out your retirement in advance, you can help to ensure that the process will go as smoothly as possible.