Medicare Deadlines Cheatsheet

Learn when to enroll in Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage and Drugs

by Ray Wilson+ on Apr 26, 2019

Remembering every deadline for Medicare Part A and B, Medigap (Medicare Supplement), Medicare Advantage and Drugs is just too difficult.  That’s why we at Senior65.com have come with this cheatsheet that will help you easily find the deadline you’re looking for.  We have broken up the deadlines into two parts:  Initial Enrollment (when you are first eligible) and Special Enrollment (when you are allowed to enroll AFTER initial enrollment because of special circumstances such as existing coverage from work).

Medicare Part A and B Initial Enrollment Deadline

If you’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, you can sign up during the 7-month period that:

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

Click here to learn about waiting period/penalties if you miss this window.

Medicare Part A and B Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

If you are over 65 and you’re covered by a group health plan through your (or your spouse’s) employer:

  • You have 8 months to sign up for Part A and/or Part B after your (or your spouse’s) employment ends or your health plan insurance is cancelled. *

Click here to learn about waiting period/penalties if you miss this window.

Medigap Initial Enrollment

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) enrollment is usually based on your Part B effective date.

  • You have a 6 month period after your Part B effective date regardless of your age.

Click here to learn about waiting period/penalties if you miss this window.

Medigap Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

For those over 65, you may qualify for a SEP to enroll in Medigap for the first time.  The most common SEP is leaving your (or your spouse’s) work coverage. 

  • You get 63 Calendar days after your work coverage has ended.

Click here to learn about waiting period/penalties if you miss this window.

Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Initial Enrollment

Medicare Advantage and Part D drug initial enrollment mirror that of Original Medicare (although you must first sign up for Medicare before you can enroll in MA or Part D).

  • Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65

Click here to learn about waiting period/penalties if you miss this window.

Medicare Advantage and Part D drug Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

For those over 65, you may qualify for a SEP to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D for the first time.  The most common SEP is leaving your (or your spouse’s) work coverage.

  • You usually have 2 full months after your work coverage has ended to enroll in MA or Part D during SEP.

 
Click here to learn about waiting period/penalties if you miss this window.

Next Steps

We hope that helps.  Now that you know how the deadlines work, check out our Medicare deadline calculator to figure your initial enrollment deadlines.  If you want to get a quote for Medigap, Medicare Advantage or Part D drugs give us a call. There is never a charge for our services and we guarantee the lowest price allowed by law.

  Learn More about Medigap Get a Medigap Quote



*Please Note: COBRA and retiree health plans aren’t considered coverage based on current employment. You’re not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when that coverage ends. This Special Enrollment Period also doesn’t apply to people who are eligible for Medicare based on having End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

 

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