4 Important Things About When Can You Start Medicare

4 Important Things About When Can You Start Medicare

The introduction of Medicare is a major priority, but finding the right time to enrol can be difficult. To help you navigate this important decision, we’ve put together a guide to the 4 most important things about when you can start Medicare. Understanding these points will ensure you make the right choices and avoid common pitfalls. 

Here are four important things to keep in mind about when you can start Medicare:

The first step is to understand your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is your first opportunity to enrol in Medicare. It’s a seven-month window that starts three months before you turn 65 includes the month you were born, and ends three months after. For example, if your birthday is in June, your IEP runs from March 1st to September 30th.

During this time, you can enrol in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance). It’s important to register on time to avoid late registration penalties and ensure you get the money you need when you need it.

2nd Special Processing Period (SEPS)

Not everyone starts Medicare at age 65. If you are still working and have health care coverage through your employer (or your spouse’s employer), you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This allows you to enrol in Medicare without penalty when your work or health care coverage ends, whichever comes first.

The SEP for Part B lasts eight months, starting the month after your employment ends or your group health plan coverage ends, whichever happens first. Make sure to enrol during this period to avoid late fees.

3rd Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), there’s a specific time each year when you can make changes to your plan. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31. During this time, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or go back to Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

This period is vital if you find that your current Medicare Advantage plan isn’t meeting your needs or if you want to explore other options.

The Last One Is the General Enrollment Period (GEP)

Did you miss your IEP? Don’t panic. You can still sign up for Medicare during the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. However, your coverage won’t start until July 1 of that year, and you might have to pay higher premiums due to late enrollment penalties.

The GEP is a safety net for those who missed their initial opportunity, but it’s better to enrol during your IEP or a SEP to avoid any gaps in coverage and additional costs.

Read more: Medicare Eligible But Still Working


Getting a handle on your Medicare enrollment periods is key to ensuring you have the coverage you need when you need it. Remember, the IEP is your first and best chance to enrol without penalties. SEPs offer flexibility for those still working, and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period allows for plan adjustments. Lastly, the GEP can help if you miss other opportunities, though it comes with some drawbacks.

By keeping these four points in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for when can you start Medicare. start your Medicare journey smoothly and confidently.


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