When does my Medicare coverage begin?

Your coverage doesn't begin right away.

When your coverage begins depends on when you sign up within the 7-month window.

Sign up 3 months before birthday

If you sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B during the first 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your coverage begins on the first day of the month in which you turn 65.


Your 65th birthday is on May 20. If you sign up for Medicare in February, March, or April, your coverage will start on May 1.

image of calendars

Sign up during your birthday month or within 3 months after your birthday month.

The chart below lists when your coverage starts if you sign up during the month of your 65th birthday or if you signed up within three months after your birthday.

If you sign up... Your coverage begins...
The month you turn 65 1 month later
1 month after you turn 65 2 months later
2 months after you turn 65 3 months later
3 months after you turn 65 3 months later