|Open Enrollment October 15- December 7
||Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.
|Initial Enrollment Period
||Medicare Part A and/or Part B during the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) that begins three months before you turn 65 and lasts for seven months. Initial enrollment in Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B, occurs automatically if you are turning 65 and already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRB) benefits or will start collecting retirement at age 65. You will need to sign up for Medicare Part B at the time that you apply for retirement benefits, and Medicare Part A enrollment occurs automatically if you are eligible for Social Security retirement. A Medicare card will be mailed out about three months before your 65th birthday.
|Special Enrollment Period
||There are cases where an individual may enroll in Medicare outside of regular enrollment periods due to extenuating circumstances. This is known as the Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If you qualify for the Medicare Special Enrollment Period, you can enroll in Medicare outside of your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and the General Enrollment Period (GEP).
|General Enrollment PeriodJanuary 1- March 31st
||This period is specifically for people who missed signing up for Medicare Part B at the required time — either during their initial enrollment period or during a special enrollment period for Part B. If you need to sign up for Part B during this period, be aware that your coverage will not begin until July 1, and you may be required to pay a late penalty based on how many years you have delayed.
|Disenrollment Period January 1- February 14th
||This period is specifically for people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage health plan who want to change to traditional Medicare. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the Medicare Advantage plan. Even if you’ve just signed up with a plan (during a recent annual open enrollment) and your coverage began only on Jan. 1, you can still use this period to change your mind and switch to the traditional Medicare program. You also can enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan at this time. In both cases, your new coverage begins the first day of the month after you make the change.