Medicare Enrollment Periods you Need to Know

Medicare Enrollment Periods you Need to Know

Knowing when to enroll in Medicare can be a little bit confusing. There are quite different dates for enrolling and deadlines based on your qualification and the timing of your enrollment. Here are the periods you need to consider in order to plan accordingly.

Eligibility for Medicare

  • Under 65  and with ALS

  • Under 65 and End-Stage Renal Disease

  • Over 65, disabled, and collected social security for 24+ months.

  • Anyone from 65 or older

  • Under 65 and getting Social Security Disability Insurance for 2+ years

Different enrollment periods?

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): During your Initial Enrollment Time, you are first eligible to participate in Medicare. There is a span of 7 months of registration that covers the three months before your 65th birthday, the month you turn 65, and the three months after your birthday.

When you have paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years, you will automatically enroll in Medicare Part A. Otherwise, via Social Security, you can enroll manually and will have to pay a fee. 
If you're disabled, once you earn disability insurance for 24+ consecutive months, you eventually get Medicare Part  A and B.


medicare enrollment


General Enrollment Period (GEP): You can enroll in Original Medicare during the General Enrollment Period if you have missed the Initial Enrollment Period. This is effectively a time of open enrollment for initial Medicare (Parts A & B). It runs every year from January 1st to March 31st. After your IEP, however, you will have to pay a late enrollment penalty for enrolling in Part A and/or B.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Some individuals, since they already have employer-sponsored insurance, opt not to participate in Medicare Part B during their initial enrollment period. A Special Enrollment Period is activated when their coverage terminates (because they are retiring or wish to move to a Medicare policy). They can enroll in Medicare Part B or upgrade their existing Medicare plan during their Special Enrollment Period. This is usually a window of two months, but depending on the case, it can vary. 

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You can make changes to your current Medicare Advantage or Prescription drug plan, during the Annual Enrollment Period (Oct 15 - Dec 7). Here's the overview of the changes you can make:

  • Enrolling in a new Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan

  • Switching from your current Part D plan to a new one

  • Ending your Part D coverage completely

  • Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan from Orginal Medicare

  • Switching from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare

  • Switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another



Related Articles: 

What is the Penalty for Medicare Part B Late Enrollment

All You Need to Know About Medicare For All


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