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If you didn’t enroll in Part A and Part B when you were first eligible, the General Enrollment Period for Medicare is your second chance to do so.
This enrollment window is only for enrolling in Part A and Part B. If you enroll during this time, you’ll also get a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Part C and/or Part D as well.
Now, let us dig into what the Medicare General Enrollment Period is, who it’s for, what you can and cannot do, and what late enrollment penalties you may come across. We also have a video below that goes over this topic in depth.
General Enrollment Period for Medicare
The Medicare General Enrollment Period occurs annually between January 1st – March 31st.
Under most circumstances, this is the only time outside your Initial Enrollment Period that you can sign up for Medicare.
How Does the Medicare General Enrollment Period Work
You can use the General Enrollment Period to enroll in Part A and/or Part B at any time during January, February, and March.
The coverage will become effective on July 1st.
That means since coverage won’t go into effect until July 1st, you’ll have no healthcare coverage until then.
That’s why it’s crucial to take advantage of your Initial Enrollment Period.
Can I Apply for Medicare Part B During GEP if I already have Part A?
Can I Delay Part B During the General Enrollment Period?
The only circumstance you can generally delay Part B and avoid a late enrollment penalty is if you’re actively working past 65 and enrolled in employer coverage. Or, if you’re covered under your spouses’ employer group plan.
When you retire, you’ll be given a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Part B. You won’t have to wait until the General Enrollment Period comes around to sign up.
When is the General Enrollment Period Work with Part D
When you enroll in either Parts A or B during the General Enrollment Period, you’ll also get a related Part D Special Enrollment Period to choose your Part D prescription drug coverage. You can enroll in a Medicare drug plan during April through June; your coverage will begin July 1st. All other parts of Medicare you joined during the Medicare General Enrollment Period will also start on July 1st.
Just like Part B, there is a Part D late enrollment penalty if you don’t sign up when you first become eligible. However, the penalty is calculated by the number of months you delayed coverage vs. the number of years.
When is the General Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage
Just like Part D, when you enroll in Medicare during the General Enrollment Period, you’ll get a SEP to choose a Medicare Advantage plan.
You can enroll in a private Medicare Advantage plan from April through June with a July 1st effective date.
How to Get Help During the General Enrollment Period
Navigating Medicare without the assistance of a licensed Medicare agent is impossible. It changes year to year, what you read last year could be outdated and inaccurate. Our job is to make your Medicare coverage easy to understand.
We can compare all your options side by side. Plus, when you enroll through us, you’ll have universal access to our Client Care Team. They will help you overcome any obstacles you may encounter throughout your Medicare journey. Contact us today at the number above, or use our rate form to get started now.