| Tue, Apr 21, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

What if I Missed My Initial Enrollment Period?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

The first time most people can enroll in Medicare is during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This 7-month period begins three months before the month in which you turn 65 and ends three months after. But, what if you miss your IEP? What happens?

Before we cover what to do if you miss your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, let’s clarify that the below applies to individuals who do not qualify to delay Medicare enrollment due to working past 65. If this is you, please read the information here about Medicare enrollment and working past 65.

What Happens When You Miss Your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period?

If you miss your IEP for Medicare enrollment, you can still enroll. You will enroll during what is known as the Medicare General Enrollment Period.

The General Enrollment Period happens every year, January 1 – March 31. During this time, you will enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. Your coverage will begin on July 1 of the same year.

You may also be eligible to next enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or Part D prescription drug plan between April 1 and June 30 of the same year.  If you want a Medicare Advantage plan, you will need to enroll in both Parts A & B first.

Once you have both Medicare Parts A & B, you can also enroll in a Medicare supplement insurance plan (Medigap plan). You will have a 6-month Medicare Supplement Insurance Open Enrollment Period to enroll, and it will begin the first day of the month in which you’re both 65 and have Medicare Part B.

Enrolling in Medicare Late May Mean Late Penalties

Now, here’s the downside to enrolling after your Initial Enrollment Period. Depending on your situation (example: if you have creditable coverage that qualified you to delay or not), you may have to pay late enrollment penalties for Medicare Part A, Part B and/or Part D.

You can read about all Medicare late enrollment penalties here, or click below to watch quick videos.

Again, whether or not you pay Medicare late enrollment penalties will depend on your unique situation.

For more information about Medicare, 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.

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