When am I Eligible to Enroll Content

Medicare Eligibility

You qualify for full Medicare benefits at age 65 or older if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the United States for at least five years and are eligible for Social Security.

You qualify for full Medicare benefits under age 65 if:

  • You have received Social Security disability benefits for at least two years; OR
  • You receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board; OR
  • You have Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS); OR
  • You have End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) requiring regular dialysis or a kidney transplant. For a full description of the requirements associated with this condition, please visit

To be eligible for a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Medicare plan you must be an Alabama resident, AND:



Medicare Enrollment Periods — when you can change plans or join for the first time

Initial Enrollment Period (Turning 65)

This 7-month period includes the three months before your birth month, your birth month and the three months after you turn 65. This is when most people sign up for the first time.

Annual Election Period (Every Year)

This occurs every year from October 15 through December 7. You can join or switch your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug plan for the upcoming year.

Special Enrollment Period (Special Circumstances)

Certain life events — such as moving or losing your employer group coverage when you retire past age 65 — may make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. This allows you to change or obtain your initial coverage outside your Initial Enrollment Period or the Annual Election Period.




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