Understand Enrollment Periods For Medicare

UnderstandING enrollment
periods for medicare

Understanding The Enrollment Timeline

There are two main enrollment times for seniors entering into Medicare coverage:

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

This is when you are turning 65 and is the first time you are eligible for Medicare coverage.

  • The seven-month period to sign up for Medicare
  • The month of your 65th birthday

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

These are specific circumstance when you're allowed to enroll into Medicare outside of your 65th birthday. Most often, they occur when you stay on your (or your spouse's) employer group plan.

  • The 8 months after coverage ends for Part A & B
  • 63 days after coverage ends for Part C and Part D
  • 6 months after coverage ends for Medigap plans

Other Enrollment Periods

There are three other enrollment periods that are available if you did not enroll during the IEP or SEP or if you want to change plans (Part C & D).

General Enrollment Period (GEP)

If you miss your IEP or your SEP, you can still sign up for Parts A & B

  • From January 1 through March 31

Annual Election
Period (AEP)

This is commonly referred to as the "Open Enrollment Period or Annual Enrollment Period"

  • From October 15 until December 7

MEDIGAP OPEN Enrollment Period (OEP)

This is the best time to enroll into a Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan.

  • A 6-month period that starts the month you are 65 or older AND are first enrolled in Part B
  • The 1st month you are enrolled into Medicare Part B at 65 or older