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Lenny Rosen, Insurance Agent

LICENSED INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENT 

Medicare Enrollment Periods

IMPORTANT. Read this whole page carefully before enrolling.

Medicare is a Federal Program.  It has important deadlines.  Please read this entire page and plan your calendar accordingly.  Be on time, because being late can be costly.

The link to enrolling online is also at the bottom of this page.

Click Here to Enroll In Medicare Online

When can I enroll in Medicare?

Enrolling in Medicare for the first time

  • Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is 7 months long.  It includes your 65th birthday month plus the 3 months before and the 3 months after.  Don't delay, it is better to enroll at your earliest opportunity in IEP.
  • Your IEP begins and ends one month earlier if your birthday is on the first of the month.
  • Your IEP is based on your 25th month of receiving benefits if you become eligible for Medicare due to disability.
  • You should be enrolled in Part A and Part B automatically at age 65 if you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.  Medicare will mail your card to you.

Changing your coverage

  • After you are enrolled, you have a chance to make changes to your coverage each year during Medicare Open Enrollment, October 15 thru December 7.
  • Review your coverage choices yearly.  Medicare and plan benefits or costs may change.
  • Consider your health care needs and budget for the coming year.
  • Keep your current coverage or change it based on your needs.
  • You may make coverage changes at other times of the year in certain qualifying situations.

What if I work past 65?

You Still have an Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) even if you work past 65

  • Your IEP happens when you turn 65 whether you continue to work or not.
  • You have Medicare decisions to make even if you have employer coverage (yours or your spouse's)

Medicare may work with employer coverage

  • All Employer Plans differ.  So Make sure to talk with your benefits administrator well before your IEP begins to see how your employer plan work with Medicare.
  • You may want to enroll in just Part A.  It is premium-free for most people
  • Some employers require you to take full Medicare benefits (Part A and Part B) at age 65.
  • Important! - Check with your employer plan benefits administrator before making Medicare decisions.

Be Proactive

  • Make sure you know your IEP dates.
  • Medicare will notify you only if you are receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.
  • You may need to sign up for Medicare yourself online or by contacting Social Security.

What happens if I miss my Initial Enrollment Period?

If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, Medicare offers a General Enrollment Period (GEP) for those who did not sign up around their 65th birthday. You could face late enrollment penalties if you wait too long to sign up, and don't qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Medicare General Enrollment Period

The GEP is January 1 – March 31 every year. Here's what you need to know:

  • You can enroll in Part A, Part B, or both during the time.
  • Coverage begins on July 1 of the same year.
  • You may have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
  • You may be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or a prescription drug (Part D) plan April 1 – June 30 of the same year.

What are the Late Enrollment Penalties?

Medicare Part A Premium Penalty

  • Part A is premium free if you or your spouse worked and paid taxes for at least 10 years. If you have to pay a premium, the penalty for late enrollment is 10%.
  • The Part A premium penalty is charged for twice the number of years you delay enrollment. If you wait 2 years, for example, you would pay the additional 10% for 4 years (2 x 2 years). The penalty applies no matter how long you delay Part A enrollment.

Medicare Part B Premium Penalty

  • The penalty for late enrollment in Part B is an additional 10% for each 12-month period that you delay it.   Let’s say your Initial Enrollment Period ended September 30, 2010, for example. Then you enroll in Part B during the General Enrollment Period in March 2013. Your late enrollment penalty would be 20% of the Part B premium, or 2 x 10%. This is because you waited 30 months to sign up, and that time period included 2 full 12-month periods.   In most cases, you have to pay the penalty every month for as long as you have Part B. If you’re under 65 and disabled, any Part B penalty ends once you turn 65 because you’ll have another Initial Enrollment Period based on your age.

Medicare Part D Premium Penalty

  • The penalty for late enrollment in a Part D plan is 1% of the average Part D premium for each month you delay enrollment. You pay the penalty for as long as you’re enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan.  You may delay enrolling in Medicare Part D without penalty if you qualify for Extra Help or have creditable drug coverage. If it’s been more than 63 days since you’ve had creditable coverage, then the penalty may apply.

Enroll in Medicare Online

Important: Read all the information on this page before enrolling.

Click Here to Enroll In Medicare Online