It is important for every senior to know that Medicare gives you the flexibility to change your coverage. If you’ve already signed up for a Medicare plan, you are by no means locked into your choice. Medicare offers you the freedom to add, switch or drop coverage each year. Your personal, medical and financial needs can change drastically from year to year, so make sure your Medicare coverage meets your current needs!
There are 4 different types of enrollment periods for Medicare Coverage
- Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is when you can first sign up for Part A and/or Part B (which you pay a monthly premium for). If you’re eligible when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. Make sure to avoid any delays in coverage by signing up early- during the first 3 months before the month you turn 65.
- The General Enrollment Period (GEP) is for those who did not sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period. The General Enrollment Period runs January 1-March 31 each year and your coverage will begin July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for choosing this late enrollment option.
- The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15–December 7 each year. This is the best time to make changes to your Medicare coverage whether you need to add, switch or drop most types of coverage.
- There are Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) which allow you to make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
These enrollment periods have very specific rules. Some of these special circumstances include moving to another state or losing other insurance coverage. To view these and others click here.