Medicare Enrollment

Once you understand when you’ll be eligible for Medicare, it’s important that you know which enrollment periods you should use! With Medicare, there are several enrollment periods to take note of, each with its own purpose for enrolling. Let’s take a look at some of those enrollment periods in our comparison chart.

Initial Enrollment Period

(surrounds your 65th birthday month)

This period starts three months before you turn 65 and then ends three months after you turn 65. You can enroll in Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage, or Part D plan during this period. 

It’s recommended that you do not delay your enrollment past this period as you can face late enrollment penalties for doing so.

General Enrollment Period

(Jan. 1 – March 31)

If you do miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you have another chance to enroll during the General Enrollment Period. However, enrolling during this period could cause you to pay late enrollment penalties.

Special Enrollment Period

(surrounds a specific circumstance)

You can also enroll in Medicare during the Special Enrollment Period if you missed your Initial Enrollment Period because of a special circumstance. If you enroll during this period, you won’t have to pay late enrollment penalties.

Special circumstances include already having creditable health coverage during the time you first became eligible for Medicare.

Medigap Open Enrollment Period

(begins once you are 65 and your Part B coverage has started)

Once this period starts, you will be able to buy a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. Enrolling during this period means that insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or require you to go through medical underwriting because of your health or other circumstances.

However, they can do these things after this period has ended.

Annual Enrollment Period

(Oct. 15 – Dec. 7)

If you’re already enrolled in Medicare, this period gives you the opportunity to review your Medicare coverage each year and make changes if necessary. You can switch, drop, or enroll in new plans.

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The Medicare Specialists are here to answer all the questions you have about enrolling in Medicare. If you’d like to know more information about which Medicare enrollment period you should use, give us a call today.