Most older adults who plan to start receiving their Social Security benefits at 65 (or soon after) probably don’t need to worry much about Medicare enrollment. Since Social Security beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, there’s little reason to worry about the enrollment dates. However, if you aren’t eligible for Social Security yet or have chosen to delay receiving benefits, the Medicare Part A and Part B General Enrollment Period is extremely important.
What is the Part A and Part B General Enrollment Period? How long does it last? What can you do during this period? Finally, who is eligible to take advantage of the General Enrollment Period? We will answer all of these questions and more, but first, let’s examine all the essential information you need to know about Original Medicare enrollment.
The Part A and Part B General Enrollment Period is a recurring period during which you can sign up for Medicare. If you didn’t sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (the 7-month period surrounding your 65th birthday), then you can get a chance to sign up during the General Enrollment Period.
The General Enrollment Period lasts from January 1st to March 31st every year. This means that it also aligns with the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. During this time, you can sign up for Medicare Part A, Part B, or both.
You also have the option of choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage provides the same benefits as Original Medicare, though it is brokered through a private provider. Additionally, most Medicare Advantage plans include Part D, dental, hearing, and vision coverage.
If you qualify for Original Medicare but did not sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period, you will be eligible to sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment Period. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a penalty or higher premiums for signing up after your Initial Enrollment Period. In any case, if you sign up during the General Enrollment Period, your coverage will officially begin on July 1st of the same calendar year.
The General Enrollment Period is fast approaching. If you missed your Initial Enrollment Period, you will have another chance to sign up for Original Medicare during the Part A and Part B General Enrollment Period. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity before it passes you by!
If you’d like to learn more about the General Enrollment Period, Open Enrollment Period, or your Medicare coverage options, feel free to fill out this form or give us a call anytime. Time for 65’s partnered licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.