To avoid late enrollment penalties for Medicare, you need to be aware of the various enrollment periods that allow you to enroll in Medicare.
Initial Enrollment Period
The Initial Enrollment Period is the most common enrollment period to sign up for Medicare, as this is open to you as soon as you become eligible for Medicare. It is personalized to you because it begins three month before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after your 65th birthday. However, if your birthday is on the first of the month, then your enrollment period will start one month early.
During this period, you can enroll in Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part D.
Special Enrollment Period
You can enroll in Medicare during the Special Enrollment Period but only if you qualify for it. To enroll during the Special Enrollment Period, you need to meet certain requirements, such as:
- You moved outside of the plan’s service area
- You had unintentional loss of coverage
- You received both Medicare and Medicaid benefits
During this period, you can return to Original Medicare without a penalty, sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan, purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan, purchase a Part D plan, or switch your Advantage Plan or Part D plan.
Annual Enrollment Period
If you are already enrolled in Medicare, then you can enroll, change, or drop your Medicare Advantage or Part D plans. This period starts on October 15 and ends on December 7 every year.
What happens if I miss enrollment?
If you miss your enrollment periods and do not have any other creditable health coverage, you will be subjected to penalties that will usually be added to your premium payments and will be paid for as long as you continue to have coverage with Medicare.
For all of your questions about enrolling in Medicare, contact a Medicare specialist, like the ones at Temmen Insurance. Give us a call at 417-633-7200.