Enrolling or switching Medicare plans at the right time can be even more important than picking the right plan! A missed deadline can cost you higher premiums down the road, or cause you to lose coverage entirely. Find the details here and Personalize Your Enrollment Timeline to help meet those deadlines.
Your timeframe for signing up for a Medicare plan depends on your personal circumstances. Medicare enrollment periods include:
If you are new to Medicare, you have a 7-month window to sign up for any of the parts of Medicare that you want. This time period is known as your initial enrollment period, or IEP.
Your Medicare IEP covers:
Certain circumstances, such as retiring after age 65 or losing your employer health plan, qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period, or SEP. During your SEP, you have 7 months after an event, such as your retirement date, to sign up for original Medicare offerings (Parts A and B).
This window is much shorter—only 2 months—to sign up for Medicare Advantage (Part C), prescription drug coverage (Part D) or Medicare Supplement Insurance known as Medigap.
Special circumstances that qualify for an SEP include:
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, takes place every year from October 15 to December 7. During this timeframe, you have the option to:
From January 1 to February 14 of each year you have the option to leave a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) and return to Medicare Parts A and B. You also can enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) during this time.