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Approaching 65 and retiring? Follow these steps to prepare for Medicare:

Nine to 12 months before you turn 65

  • Contact the Social Security Administration to confirm your eligibility.
  • If you had enrolled in Social Security benefits prior to age 65, you will automatically receive Medicare Parts A and B at 65.
  • If you plan to delay claiming Social Security benefits, you’re still eligible for full Medicare benefits, but will need to sign up for Original Medicare three months before turning 65.

Six to eight months before you turn 65

  • Check with your healthcare providers to see if they accept Medicare.
  • Begin researching Medicare Advantage plans, such as Geisinger Gold, that best fit your lifestyle and budget. Geisinger Gold offers more value than Original Medicare. Learn more about Geisinger Gold.

Three months before you turn 65

  • If you previously signed up for Social Security benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits, you’ll receive your Initial Enrollment Package in the mail with your new Medicare card and a letter explaining your automatic enrollment in Medicare Parts A and B.
  • If you don’t plan to enroll in Social Security benefits right away, or if you decide to wait until after you reach full retirement age, you can still sign up for Medicare three months before your 65th birthday to avoid potential delays or penalties.
  • Apply for a Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage plan beginning three months before the month of your 65th birthday. Be sure you have your Medicare Parts A and B effective dates when enrolling. If you enroll during this time, your enrollment is effective the first day of the month that you turn 65.

When you turn 65 (Happy birthday!)

  • Enjoy your special day!
  • If you have yet to enroll in Original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan, you still have time! Remember, you can enroll anytime within the month of your 65th birthday and up to three months afterward.

Three months after you turn 65

  • Don’t delay any longer! If you enroll in Part A and/or Part B the month you turn 65 or during the last three months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your start date will be delayed, up to three months after enrollment.


Note: This is not all-inclusive, and not every situation may be covered above.

Next steps: 

Here’s how to choose a Medicare Advantage plan
Learn more about why people may change Medicare plans
Medicare and Medicare Advantage: What’s the difference?

Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal.

Y0032_23269_1_M Accepted 10/1/23