How Do We Enroll in Medicare?

Hi Toni:

            I am a stay at home wife with a husband who was planning to retiring next summer, so I went online and delayed my Medicare Part B in November because I turn 65 on December 9th.

            Last Friday my husband came home early from work because he has been laid off effective immediately with our health benefits ending December 31st.

            What do I do to get my Part B back and enroll my husband in Medicare? Sam is 76 and only has Part A. Look forward to what advice you can share.  Annie from Sugar Land


Great Question, Annie:

            Most do not realize that when you delay your Medicare Part B and are still in your Initial Enrollment Period (which is 3 months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65 and 3 months after turning 65), that you must go to your local Social Security office. 

            Annie, you cannot enroll in Part B online because Social Security will kick your online application out because you have delayed Part B. You are blessed that this happened in December which is the month you turn 65. Had you waited until the next 3 months of your IEP, then your Part B beginning time is not what you think it would be.

            Medicare has a special time which is called the Medicare effective date schedule.

Below is the Medicare effective date schedule timeline:

  • Enroll anytime 3 months before turning 65, your Medicare begins the first day of the month you turn 65.
  • Enroll the month you turn 65, then Medicare will begin 1 month after you sign up.
  • Enroll 1 month after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 2 monthsafter you sign up.
  • Enroll 2 months after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 3 monthsafter you sign up.
  • Enroll 3 months after you turn 65, your Medicare will begin 3 monthsafter you sign up.

Annie, both you and your husband need to enroll in Medicare Part B in December for it to begin January 1st. To enroll for Medicare Part B for you and your husband when past 65 and leaving employer benefits:

  • Download the Request for Employment Information from or send an email to for the forms and take to your husband’s HR department and have them sign them for both of you. Failure of not having form signed by HR will get you a Part B penalty that goes all the way back to the day you turned 65.
  • Write in RED on the top of the Social Security form OMB NO. 0938 Special Enrollment Period for the clerk to know you are requesting a SEP.
  • Take the form in person to your local Social Security office and inform the SS clerk that you want your Medicare Parts A and B to begin the 1stof the month that you are losing your company benefits.
  • When your Part B is in place, then you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Once you leave your company benefits, you will have 63 days to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or you can also have a Part D penalty which goes all the way back to the day you turned 65.

            Visit to receive your copy of the 2017 Medicare costs and to sign up for the latest Toni Says newsletter.           

            Toni King, author of the new Medicare Survival Guide® offers a “Thank You, Houston” $5 discount available for Newsletter readers at . Medicare consultations are available at the Toni Says office or email questions to or call 832/519-TONI (8664).



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