Both Medicare Part A and Part B of Medicare, according to the Medical Right Center? Because of this, many had to pay the late enrollment penalty for this part of their Medicare for that year. Even though you have ample time to enroll in Medicare, missing this enrollment date is a fairly common thing to do. This is because there is a lot of confusion with all these enrollment periods.That’s right, there are multiple enrollment periods. Depending on when you plan to begin your Medicare coverage, you will fall into one of three enrollment periods for starting Medicare Part B. There is even a fourth enrollment periods to make changes to your existing Medicare coverage. Confused yet? Don’t worry, we will help clear this up for you.
What are the Medicare Enrollment Periods?
The four Medicare enrollment periods are:
- Medicare Initial Enrollment Period
- Medicare Special Enrollment Period
- Medicare General Enrollment Period
- Medicare Annual Election Period
As you can see, with all these different enrollment periods, you can easily miss your opportunity to get the coverage you need. Let’s take a look at each enrollment period closely.
Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
|Part B Sign-Up Date||Part B Coverage Begins- 1st of the Month|
|During the 3 Months Before Your 65th Birthday||Month of your Birthday|
|During the Month of Your Birthday||Month After your Birthday|
|During the Month After Your Birthday||3 Months After your Birthday|
|During the 2nd Month After Your Birthday||5 Months After your Birthday|
|During the 3rd Month After Your Birthday||6 Months After your Birthday|
What if I Miss the Initial Enrollment?
- There will be a penalty for any late enrollment for Part B after your Initial Enrollment Period. This is going to extend for as long as you have Medicare as your primary coverage. There’s going to be a 10% penalty for every year you should have had Part B but have failed to enroll. As of 2021, the initial premium is $148.50. This can mean that you will pay an additional $14.85 each month.
- There’s also the chance that you will go with no coverage under Part B for a long time. If you don’t ever sign up during your initial period, you’re going to have to wait until there is another General Election Period. If so, you will not see coverage starting until July 1st of that current year.
- If you do not have any Part D drug coverage and miss your enrollment period, you’ll have to pay the penalty with your Part D premium. This will be as long as you have coverage in Part D. This penalty will be 1% per consecutive month that you went without having any coverage for your prescription drugs multiplied by that year’s base modal premium.
- Suppose for some unforeseen reason that you are unable to qualify for Part A of Medicare as this can be due to not having a large enough work history, and you do not buy into the Medicare program during your enrollment. In that case, you will have to pay a penalty of 10% of your premium for twice the number of years you could have bought the coverage, but you didn’t.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
Medicare General Enrollment Period
What if I missed my Initial Enrollment Period and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?
From January 1st through March 31st of each year, you can participate in the General Enrollment Period. Keep in mind that this will not be a safety net if you miss your other enrollment times. Even though you can still enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during this period, you’re still going to have to worry about any penalties due to your late enrollment.
On top of these penalties, you will not see your coverage begin until July 1st. This can mean that you may go a few months without coverage, so it is conducive to ensuring you get coverage during an enrollment period. Especially the Initial Enrollment Period.
It would be best if you remembered that this only applies to Original Medicare. If you want any of the Medicare Advantage plans or Plan D coverage, you will have to wait for the Annual Enrollment Period.
Annual Election Period
Medigap Open Enrollment Period
Getting the Right Help in Making Your Medicare Choices
You are entitled to Medicare and the other benefits. You worked hard to make sure that you would have healthcare when you finally retire from your job. Keep in mind that it is very crucial to understand that there are going to be rules and regulations when it comes to the benefits and your rights that are under the specific program.
It is vital to learn about all the enrollment periods when it comes to Medicare so that you can take advantage of all the benefits available to you. Unfortunately, if you miss a date, there are consequences that you’re going to have to pay for, and it’s going to be for life. If you have questions regarding your Medicare and what choices you do have, please reach out to a Medicare agent. Many specialize in these types of benefits and services. You can also go to medicare.gov to get even more information to help you make an informed choice and make sure that you do not miss any of the enrollment periods.
After all, you want your retirement to go as smoothly as possible and not have to worry about large bills piling up because of health problems or an emergency room visit. By making sure you enroll in Medicare at the right time and picking the right plan for your healthcare needs, you’ll be able to rest a little bit easier in your retirement and not have to worry too much about astronomical bills piling up on you.