Sanjay Gupta's new book 'Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age' is available for purchase now! Learn more.
En español | COBRA is a temporary extension of the health insurance you had while working — same coverage, but you pay the employer’s share of the premiums as well as your own. Because COBRA does not count as insurance from active employment, you will not be protected from delayed coverage and late penalties if you wait to enroll in Medicare later than you should.
Therefore — regardless of how many months of COBRA coverage you’re offered — if you’re retiring before or at age 65, you should sign up for Medicare during your seven-month initial enrollment period (IEP), which expires three months after the month in which you turn 65. Or, if you delay Medicare enrollment beyond age 65 because you have health coverage from a current employer (your own or your spouse’s), you should enroll no later than eight months after the employment ends, when your special enrollment period expires.
Can you have COBRA as well as Medicare? That depends on when you become entitled to Medicare:
Return to Medicare Q&A Tool main page >>
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at