Turning 65? Timeline for Choosing Your Medicare Coverage

12 months before you turn 65…

  • Now is the time to start looking into your Medicare plan options.
  • Contact Social Security to find out about eligibility and enrollment.

6 months before…

Contact Medicare and/or Blue Cross for more information, including specific benefits and costs.

  • Talk with family, friends, and doctors about your options.
  • Talk with your employer about available group coverage.

5 months before…

  • Narrow down your options for coverage.
  • Make sure plans will cover you if you travel frequently or spend significant time outside Rhode Island.
  • Make sure plan networks include your doctors and pharmacy.
  • Compare out-of-pocket costs between plans.

3 months before…

Congratulations! Now you can apply for Medicare benefits through the Social Security Administration.

  • You can also apply for any additional coverage now. Call Blue Cross to register for an informational seminar to learn more about your available options.

2 months before…

  • Let your employer know about your decisions, to ensure a smooth transition from group coverage to Medicare/retiree coverage.
  • If your spouse and/or dependent was covered under your employer’s plan, make arrangements for him or her to have coverage after you have Medicare.

You’re 65!
Happy birthday! Now it’s time to make sure everything is in place:

  • Check that you have your Medicare card.
  • Make sure you have cards for any additional coverage you enrolled in.
  • Tell your doctors and pharmacy about your new coverage.

Last updated: 04/09/2012

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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island depends on contract renewal.