Medicare General Enrollment Period Requirements and PenaltiesPosted by Medicare Made Clear
Enrolling in Medicare may seem tricky. Since enrollment is limited to certain times, you can’t just sign up whenever you feel like it. For example, if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period or if you drop your Part B and you want to get it back later, and you don’t qualify for enrollment during the Special Enrollment Period, you may be eligible to enroll during the General Enrollment Period. However, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty or a higher premium for as long as you have Medicare. Your Medicare Part B monthly premium may go up as high as 10 percent for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it.
If you are under age 65, have had Medicare Part B before and dropped or lost it, or if you’re eligible to enroll in Part B during the Special Enrollment Period, contact Social Security for information on your Part B premium amount. Otherwise, if you’ve never had Medicare Part B and you simply want to find out how much your Part B monthly premium will be, check out this Part B calculator.
The General Enrollment Period runs from January 1 through March 31 every year. Coverage that you sign up for during this time takes effect on July 1 of the same year.
If you have Medicare Part A coverage and you enroll in Part B for the first time during the Part B General Enrollment Period, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan between April 1 and June 30 of that same year.
If you don’t have Medicare Part A coverage and you enroll in Part B during the Part B General Enrollment Period, you can sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan between April 1 and June 30 of that same year.
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.
Medicare Enrollment Periods: Medicare.gov
When & how to sign up for Part A & Part B: Medicare.gov
Medicare General Enrollment Period: Medicare Made Clear