The Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is a period of time outside of the general enrollment period, Fall Open Enrollment Period or Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period triggered by specific circumstances, during which you can enroll in Medicare Part B, Part D, or a private health plan (Part C). SEPs may also allow you to switch or disenroll from Part D and private health plans. In Part B, an SEP absolves you from having to pay a premium penalty. Your Part B SEP begins the month after your or your spouse’s employment or group health plan coverage ends (whichever comes first). In Part D and private health plans, you are eligible for an SEP in many situations; for example, if you were to lose any type of drug coverage that was considered creditable coverage or you were to move out of your plan’s service area. Only two Part D SEPs absolve you from the premium penalty: getting Extra Help and receiving inadequate information about the creditability of your drug coverage.

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