3 Medicare Enrollment Rules You Must Know

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The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is your first chance to enroll in Medicare. It’s the three months before your 65th birthday month, the month of your birthday, and the three months after your birthday month. After you enroll, there are three more enrollment periods you must acknowledge:

  1. After you choose your Medicare coverage, it’s important to know that you can make changes to your coverage during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP), Oct 15th- Dec 7th. Make sure you review your coverage thoroughly so you can find something that’s suits you best.

2. If you did not enroll during the IEP when you were first eligible, you can enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP). The general enrollment period for Original Medicare is from January 1 through March 31 of each year. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B if you did not sign up when you were first eligible.

3. You may choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B when you are first eligible because you are already covered by group medical insurance through an employer or union. If you lose your group insurance, or if you decide you want to switch from your group coverage to Medicare, you can sign up at any time that you are still covered by the group plan or during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Your eight-month special enrollment period begins either the month that your employment ends or when your group health coverage ends, whichever occurs first. If you enroll during an SEP, you generally do not have to pay a late enrollment penalty.


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Medicare World Editorial Team
The Medicare World editorial team works diligently to make sure our stories are informative, unbiased, and of utmost relevance to our readers. Our team of researchers and writers presents the best and latest information on all things Medicare, including legislation, enrollment rules, changes in coverage and costs, and health information. We enjoy keeping our readers up-to-date and helping them navigate the often-complicated Medicare maze.

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