Did you miss your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), but you still need to enroll in Medicare? You will most likely need to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) or the General Enrollment Period (GEP).
Special Enrollment Period
You may be eligible for a Part B SEP. If so, you can enroll in Medicare with no penalty at any time while you have employer-sponsored coverage & for eight months after you lose that coverage or you (or your spouse) stops working. To be eligible for a Part B SEP, you must have insurance from current work and have been continuously covered by employer-sponsored insurance or Medicare Part B since you became Medicare eligible. If you go more than eight months without coverage, you are no longer eligible for the Part B SEP.
If you become Medicare-eligible before you turn 65 due to a disability and have employer-sponsored coverage through a family member’s current job, you also may be eligible for a SEP if there are at least 100 employees at the place providing your coverage.
Make sure you understand the differences in employer-sponsored coverage if you are Medicare-eligible due to age vs. disability.
General Enrollment Period
The GEP runs from January 1 to March 31 of every year, and during this time, you can enroll in Medicare Part B. The coverage you enroll in will begin on July 1; so, you will not begin receiving coverage for medical expenses until then. Sometimes, enrolling during the GEP can result in paying the Part B premium penalty. The Part B premium penalty is a 10% premium increase for every 12 months you do not enroll in Medicare Part B. If you are eligible due to age, this penalty will be charged for as long as you are on Medicare. However, if you become eligible due to a disability before age 65, you only have to pay the penalty until you turn 65.
If you have any questions about knowing when to enroll in Medicare – call Medicare Pathways today. We are always here to help!