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Medicare eligibility can be a confusing matter to sort through and figure out on your own. There are factors, conditions, eligibility requirements and deadlines that can affect your coverage and benefits. In addition, there are special enrollment periods which allow an extension of time for filing for coverage. Wondering if you qualify?
If you were not in need of Medicare when you first became eligible and now need coverage under the program, you may be unsure of your Medicare eligibility.
If you did not sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B because you had health insurance coverage via an employer or a spouse's employer, you may be entitled to apply for coverage via a special enrollment period that is offered by the program.
In most cases your Medicare eligibility allows you to register for Part A and/or Part B as indicated below:
Anytime that you or your spouse are working and are provided health insurance coverage through a group health care plan through the employer, you qualify for the special enrollment period.
In addition, you are qualified for this special enrollment period during the 8 month period that begins the month after the employment ends or the group health insurance coverage ends, whichever occurs first.
You are also eligible if you're a volunteer serving in a foreign country.
Note: If you have COBRA coverage or a retiree health plan, this means that you don't have coverage based on current employment and therefore, you are not eligible for a special enrollment period when that coverage ends.