If you missed your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and need to enroll in Medicare, you likely will have to enroll during either a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) or the General Enrollment Period (GEP).
Part B Special Enrollment Period for losing job-based insurance
- If you are eligible for this Part B SEP, you can enroll in Medicare without penalty at any time while you have job-based insurance and for eight months after you lose your job-based insurance or you (or your spouse) stop working, whichever comes first.
- If you are under 65, are Medicare-eligible due to disability, and have job-based insurance through a family member’s current work, you may also be entitled to the SEP if there are at least 100 employees at your family member’s place of work.
- Know the differences in coverage through job-based insurance if you are Medicare-eligible due to age versus disability.
Part B Special Enrollment Periods for exceptional circumstances
- There are also SEPs for less common situations, including;
- You live in an area impacted by an emergency or disaster
- You got certain types of misinformation from your employer
- You were released from incarceration
- Your Medicaid coverage is ending
- You experience other exceptional circumstances
- You must meet certain requirements in order to use one of these SEPs.
General Enrollment Period
- The GEP takes place January 1 through March 31 of each year. During this period you can enroll in Medicare Part B.
- When you enroll during the GEP, coverage begins the first of the month after you enroll. For example, if you enroll in January, your coverage begins February 1.
- Enrolling in Medicare during the GEP means you may have to pay a Part B premium penalty.