It is important to note that when you turn 65 years of age you will automatically be enrolled in original Medicare Part A. You will also be enrolled in Medicare Part B if you are receiving benefits from Social or Railroad Retirement Board (also known as “RRB”). However, if you are 65 years of age and not yet receiving Social Security or RRB benefits because you are still working or you are receiving certain benefits from the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (also known as “FEHB Program), you will not be automatically enrolled in original Medicare Part B. Instead, you will need to sign up for original Medicare Part B, and pay any associated premiums. Medicare enrollment rules are very strict.

Enrollment periods for individuals include the following:

Medicare Part B Initial Enrollment Period

You can sign up when you are first eligible for original Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (also known as “IEP”). When you turn 65 years of age you can sign up for original Medicare Part B during the 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65 years of age, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65 years of age.

Note: If your birthday is not on the first day of the month, your original Medicare Part B coverage starts the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage will start the first day of the prior month.

Medicare Part B General Enrollment Period

The General Enrollment Period (also known as “GEP”) is January through March of each year. If you do not enroll in original Medicare Part B during your Initial or Special Enrollment Period, you will have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period to enroll. You may then have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium because you could have had Medicare Part B and did not take it. When you enroll for original Medicare Part B in the General Enrollment Period, your Part B coverage always begins July 1st of the year you enroll. There is a premium surcharge of 10% for each full twelve-month period you are not enrolled in original Medicare Part B but were eligible for original Medicare Part B. Social Security does not count months you were covered under a group health plan when figuring the surcharge.

Note: There is no time limit for requesting premium surcharge rollback. An individual who is already entitled to original Medicare Part B or who is filing a general enrollment request may request relief from the premium surcharge at any time.

Medicare Part B Special Enrollment Period

If you did not sign up for original Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period because you were covered under a group health plan based on current employment you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (also known as “SEP”). You can sign up for original Part B during this Special Enrollment period during any month that you are covered under a group health plan based on current employment, or during the eight-month period that begins the first full month after employment or group health plan coverage ends, whichever comes first.

 

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