Senior couple cooking as they discuss using the general enrollment period.

When Can I Use the General Enrollment Period?

Missing the Initial Enrollment Period doesn’t mean you’ve lost your opportunity to join Medicare. Every year from January 1 to March 31, newcomers can enroll in Medicare to get health coverage both inside the hospital and out.

Why Join During General Enrollment?

General Enrollment is for those who missed the Initial Enrollment Period, which is a seven-month period that begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday.

What Should I Consider?

Late enrollment fees apply. For Part A, you pay an extra 10% on top of your premiums for twice the number of years you waited to join. For Part B, your penalty is permanent, with the late enrollment fee gaining an extra 10% for every full year you waited.

What Parts Of Medicare Can I Join During The General Enrollment Period?

The General Enrollment Period allows you to join Part A and/or Part B these plans from January 1 to March 31.

With Part A, you get inpatient hospital coverage that allows you to get inpatient services with no coinsurance the first 60 days of an inpatient stay after meeting your deductible.

Part B covers 80% of the charges for your outpatient services, including preventive treatments (e.g., screenings, x-rays, and immunizations), ambulance services, and medical equipment (such as CPAP machines and blood glucose monitors).

Senior couple making heart shapes as they discuss enrollment periods.
The General Enrollment Period allows you to join Part A and/or Part B these plans from January 1 to March 31.

What If I Want To Join Medicare Advantage Or A Drug Plan?

Part A and Part B are prerequisites for joining these. Once enrolled, you’ll have from April 1 to June 30 to join Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicare Part D.

When Does Coverage Become Effective?

Your coverage will begin on July 1.

Joining Medicare Advantage and Part D following your Original Medicare enrollment during the General Enrollment Period also leads to coverage starting July 1.

What If I Have Employer Coverage?

If you have employer coverage through your employer or your spouse’s employer, you can delay Part B enrollment without penalty. You will have an eight-month Special Enrollment Period from when you dropped your employer coverage to join Part B without penalty.

However, you are able to have Medicare Part A and/or Part B and employer coverage at the same time. One plan will pay all that it can for your medical services, and then the other coverage will kick in once the first payer’s coverage has been exhausted. If your employer has less than 20 employees, Medicare will pay first. If your employer has 20 or more employees, your group health plan will pay first. 

Get Started Today

At Turning 65 Solutions, we can get you on track to join Medicare. If you missed your Initial Enrollment Period, we will help you prepare for the General Enrollment Period. Call us today at 830-217-6711 for more information on how we can help!

Turning 65 Solutions can help you plan for the future.