I am currently 62. When I retired two years ago, I joined a health sharing ministry and dropped my employer coverage. I plan on enrolling in Medicare when first eligible in three years. Since I will not have been covered by insurance during that five year period, are there any restrictions or "gotcha"s related to signing up for Medicare and Medigap, and receiving full coverage under those plans?
NOTE - Ideal time is 3 months BEFORE your 65th birthday
You can apply online for Medicare even if you are not ready to retire. Use our online application to sign up for Medicare. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail. Learn more about your Medicare card. Apply for Medicare Only https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/
You may also enroll by phone if you wish.
Call us at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
You'll be fine. I would call Medicare a few months before your 65th birthday if you aren't already on Social Security to ensure you get coverage as soon as you're eligible. When you have Social Security income, you'll automatically be enrolled in Medicare. Some Medigap plans let you pre-enroll in a policy 6-3 months before the Part B effective date. The Medigap plan would go into effect the same day as your Part B. Since you're in the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you'll be guaranteed acceptance into a Medicare Supplement policy. You'll also want to sign up for Part D to cover your medications.