| Tue, Jan 28, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare General Enrollment Open Now

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Medicare eligibilityThe Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP) is like make-up time. If you did not enroll in Medicare Part A or Part B when you were first eligible, then you may enroll during a GEP. It runs from January 1 through March 31 every year. Coverage begins on the following July 1.

GEP may be handy for those who chose to delay signing up for Part B (medical insurance). You may use the GEP to enroll in Part B while you still have employer or other medical coverage, and no premium penalty will be charged. You may also be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when your other coverage ends.

People who refused or delayed Part B when they were first eligible, and who do not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, may be charged a premium penalty when they enroll. The penalty is an additional 10% of the premium amount for each full 12-month period that you were eligible and not enrolled. In most cases, this penalty is charged for as long as you have Part B.

You may also sign up for Part A during the GEP. You may want to have Part A even if you have other health insurance, such as through an employer or union. Part A would then provide secondary coverage after your other insurance has paid to its limit.

Most people qualify for premium-free Part A (hospital insurance). You (or your spouse) earn eligibility for premium-free Part A through paying taxes as an employee. If you are not eligible, then you will be charged a premium for Part A. The amount is up to $426 per month in 2014 and is based on your income.

People who must pay a premium for Part A may be charged an additional penalty if they don’t sign up during their Initial Enrollment Period. The penalty is an additional 10% of the premium amount. It is charged for twice the number of years that enrollment was delayed.

Maybe you decided to wait a while before enrolling in Medicare. Maybe you weren’t sure you wanted it. Or maybe it simply slipped your mind.

Whatever the reason, you may want to take advantage of the Medicare General Enrollment Period.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

When to Enroll in Medicare: Find your Medicare enrollment dates and learn about enrollment.

Medicare & You: Get the US government’s official Medicare handbook.

Medicare Eligibility Tool: Learn more about Medicare eligibility.

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