To explain what the Medicare General Enrollment Period is, we first need to know what an enrollment period means!
An enrollment period is the amount of time you have to sign up for a Medicare plan. To enroll in a Medicare plan for the first time, you will typically need to do so during your Initial Enrollment Period. However, some people may not be able to use this period. Fortunately, this is where the General Enrollment Period comes in.
Medicare Enrollment Periods
The Initial Enrollment Period is a seven-month duration that starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after turning 65. Enrolling during this period is always recommended to avoid coverage gaps and late enrollment penalties. However, we understand that things may happen, and enrolling may not seem possible during this time.
Sometimes, you may be able to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period, as long as you qualify. Qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period means you can enroll in Medicare without having to worry about paying late enrollment penalties. Typically, a good way to qualify is if you currently have creditable health insurance through your employer when you first become eligible for Medicare.
Now, if you simply choose to delay your initial Medicare enrollment just to do so, you will not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You will need to take advantage of the General Enrollment Period if you want coverage from Medicare.
When is the General Enrollment Period?
The General Enrollment Period happens every year from January 1 through March 31. During this time, you will be able to enroll in Medicare, but your coverage won’t actually start until July 1.
Since you delayed your Medicare enrollment up until this point, you will also have to pay late enrollment penalties. The penalty for Medicare Part A can be paid off after a certain amount of time, but the penalty for Part B is permanent.
Need Help Enrolling? Give Us A Call
At Peritia Advisors, we are dedicated to providing you with all the information and resources you need to ensure you enroll in Medicare at the right time and get the coverage you need. For more information about the General Enrollment Period or other Medicare enrollment periods, reach out to us today!