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Thread: When exactly does Medicare start?

  1. #1
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    When exactly does Medicare start?

    I turn 65 next month, and I just went into the social security website and found that since I am already taking benefits early, I am automatically signed up for Part A and B. Yesterday I enrolled in the AARP G plan. I have not yet received my card, so I don't have the number yet to sign up for Part D.

    My question is, it looks like they start you on March 1, the first day of the month. You don't have to wait until your actual birthday? Is that correct?

    Second question--what is the initial Medicare physical? Should I wait 3 weeks and get that, or should I schedule with a new doctor here in advance of that? If I do that, I would use my current insurance, and then billing might be messed up.

    But I am nervous not having a doctor here, and am having some issues that require seeing a doctor.

    Does anybody know about whether it actually all starts the first day of the month, before you are actually 65?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I am 95% sure it starts on March 1 for you (it did for me, too, as my birthday is also in March). As long as you have or get a Medicare card, it should state the effective date on it, and you simply present that to the doctor's practice and you should be good to go.

    I don't know what they mean by "initial Medicare physical."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    There is no physical required.

    But if I remember correctly I didn’t have a “Medicare card” for some time, and I would imagine that Covid has slowed down that government bureaucracy even more.

    As for the timing, I won’t answer that because I don’t remember for sure, but my impression is that yeah it starts on the first of the month of your birthday.

  4. #4
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    It starts the first day of the month in which your birthday occurs.

    I was born June 9, 1955, so I became eligible on June 1, 2020. I only signed up for A, which is required, but since I'm still working I'll be waiting to sign up for B.

    I too ran into a glitch getting my card, although I got my confirmation letter quickly. When I finally contacted Social Security about the card, they speculated that it was because they didn't have my apartment number as part of my address. I got it a few weeks later.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I can't recall, but once you've enrolled, can you download the card from mySSA.gov?
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    The so called Medicare physical is not a physical but you being asked a bunch of questions in order to determine your cognitive abilities. I don’t participate in that crap.

  7. #7
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    First day of your birthday month. The "physical" is supposed to be a benefit but as near as I could tell, it provides an opportunity to promote all the standard tests. I suppose it might be a good way to check out a new doctor.

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    Be certain to get a part D plan (prescriptions). There is a penalty for every single month that you don't have the coverage should you decide later down the road you want it. I got Mom's first part D for just $8/month. The penalty will really add up over the years.

  9. #9
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    We went through nightmare customer service to sign DH up with the required drug coverage. We call it Hellcare instead of Wellcare. $17 bucks a month even though he takes no prescription drugs.

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I have WellCare coverage.Half the time this year I did not run my prescriptions through it because they’re not very expensive when I get them from my doctor.

    I think I did finally move everything to a Walgreens pharmacy though. But who knows if I’m really saving any money.

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