When to Apply?
When first eligible:
- When you're first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial
Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.
- In most cases, if you don't sign up for Medicare Part B when you're
first eligible, you'll have to pay a late enrollment penalty. You'll
have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B and could have
a gap in your health coverage.
When to Enroll: Your 7- Month Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
Between January 1 - March 31 each year
You can sign up for Part A and/or B during the General Enrollment Period Between
Jan 1 - March 31 each year if both of these apply:
- You didn't sign up when you were first eligible.
- You aren't eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (see below).
- You must pay premiums for Part A and/or Part B. Your coverage will start
July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in
Part A and/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B.
When is the General Enrollment Period?
Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have the chance to sign up for
Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you're covered under a
group health plan based on current employment, you have a SEP to sign up for
Part A and/or Part B anytime as long as:
- You or your spouse (or family member if you're disabled) is working.
- You're covered by a group health plan through the employer or union
based on that work.
- You also have an 8-month SEP to sign up for Part A and/or Part B that
starts at one of these times (whichever happens first):
- The month after the employment ends
- The month after group health plan insurance based on current employment
- Usually, you don't pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during
When Is My Special Enrollment Period?