General Enrollment Period
The Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP) runs from January 1 through March 31. During this time, you can enroll in Original Medicare Part A. Part B or both if:
- You did not enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
- You chose to delay enrollment when you first became eligible.
- You previously terminated or withdrew from Part A, Part B or both and want to re-enroll.
When you enroll or re-enroll in Medicare during the GEP, your coverage begins on July 1 of the year you enroll.
Special Enrollment Periods
Medicare also offers Special Enrollment Periods for certain eligible individuals. Let’s say you had group health coverage through your or your spouse’s active employment at the time you became eligible for Medicare, so you delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B (which has a premium). You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you are disabled and working or are covered under a working family member’s employer health coverage, you may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
There are specific rules and criteria for Special Enrollment Periods. so be sure to familiarize yourself with
these to avoid missing deadlines and having to pay a penalty. To find out if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778; 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday). You may also contact your local Social Security office. They can also tell you what you need to do to avoid paying a higher Medicare Part B premium.
If you have questions about your eligibility for Original Medicare (Part A or Part B), or if you want to apply for Medicare, please call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday) or visit or call your local Social Security office. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. You can also get information about buying Part A as well as Part B if you don’t qualify for premium-free Part A. You can also contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048 or UnitedHealthcare ® Medicare Made Clear at 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week.
Medicare Basics. MedicareMadeClear.com
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