Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Part A and Part B
The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Parts A and B is 7 months, starting 3 months before the month of your Medicare eligibility and ending 3 months after the month of eligibility. The month of eligibility is the month of your 65th birthday.
The effective date of your Medicare coverage depends on when you enroll. The later you enroll, the later your benefits begin.
If you enroll in Part B during the:
- First 3 months of your IEP, your benefits will begin the first day of the 4th month of your IEP or the month of eligibility.
- 4th month of your IEP, your benefits will begin the first day of the following month or the 5th month of your IEP.
- 5th month of your IEP, your benefits will begin the first day of the 2nd month following your month of enrollment or the last month of your IEP.
- 6th or 7th month of your IEP, your benefits will begin the first day of the 3rd month following your month of enrollment
Penalty for delay in Part B enrollment
- If you delay your enrollment in Part B, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty of 10% of the current Part B premium amount for each 12-month period you delayed enrollment.
- However, if you have coverage from an employer group health plan based on current employment, you may not have to pay the penalty.
General Enrollment Period (GEP) for Medicare Part A and Part B
- People who did not enroll in Part A or B during their IEP, or terminated their Part A or Part B benefits and want to re-enroll, may enroll in either or both Parts during the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which is January 1 to March 31 of each year.
- If you enroll during the GEP, your benefits will begin the following July 1.
- If you enroll in Part B during the GEP, you may have to pay the Part B late enrollment penalty mentioned above.
How to avoid penalty for delayed Part B by using Special Enrollment Period (SEP)?
- f you become eligible for Medicare at 65, and have coverage from an employer group health plan based on your or your spouse’s employment, you may delay enrollment in Part B. Whenever you are ready to leave your employer coverage (even if you are continuing to work) or if your employer group health coverage ends, you have an SEP to enroll in Part B.
- COBRA does NOT count as employer coverage
- Special FORM “Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B” must be filled.
- The SEP is 8 months following the end of employment or employer group health coverage, whichever is earlier.
- If you enroll during the SEP, you don’t owe the late enrollment penalty for Part B.
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