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Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is 7 months long. It includes your 65th birthday month plus the 3 months before and the 3 months after. It begins and ends 1 month earlier if your birthday is on the first.
You may enroll in Part A, Part B or both. You may also choose to join a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) or a prescription drug plan (Part D).
You may use the General Enrollment Period (GEP) to enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B or both if you miss your IEP.
The GEP happens every year from January 1 to March 31. You may also choose to join a Medicare Advantage plan or a prescription drug plan from April 1 to June 30 the same year.
Your Medicare supplement open enrollment is 6 months long. It begins the month you are 65 or older and are enrolled in Medicare Part B.
You can apply to enroll at any time after this, but during open enrollment you are guaranteed coverage. Later you could be denied or charged more based on your health history. Some states may allow for additional enrollment periods.
Medicare Annual Enrollment is October 15 to December 7.
During this time you may join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) or a prescription drug plan (Part D). If you drop a Medicare Advantage plan, your coverage reverts to Original Medicare.
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan on January 1, you can change your coverage once between January 1 and March 31.
You can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or go back to Original Medicare. If you go back to Original Medicare, you may also enroll in a Part D Rx drug plan and a Medicare supplement plan.
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in Part A, Part B or both without penalty for up to 8 months after the month you (or your spouse’s) employment or employer coverage ends, whichever comes first.
You may join a Medicare Advantage plan or prescription drug plan up to 2 full months after the same event, if you are eligible.
You may join, switch or drop a Medicare Advantage plan or a prescription drug plan if you have a qualifying event, such as moving.
You have 2 months after the month of a qualifying event to make plan changes, in most cases. If you drop a Medicare Advantage plan, your coverage reverts to Original Medicare.