If you missed a Medicare enrollment period, here are some resources for figuring out next steps. It can happen to anyone. You have an item on your to-do list, but by the time you get around to it the deadline has flown by. When it comes to Medicare, there are certain deadlines for enrollment.
I missed my Initial Enrollment Period
Your Initial Enrollment Period starts the year you turn 65. This window lasts for seven months, including your birthday month and three months before and after.
I forgot to enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and/or B) during my IEP
- Enroll during the General Enrollment Period: The Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP) runs from January 1 to March 31 each year and is an opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part B coverage. If you enroll during this time your coverage will begin on July 1 of that year, and you may have a Medicare late enrollment penalty.
- Enroll during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you’re enrolled in a group health plan through an employer, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. You may not have a late enrollment fee if you enroll during a SEP. If you do not have employer coverage, you may be subject to a Medicare late enrollment penalty.
I forgot to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Prescription Drug (Part D) plan during my IEP
- Enroll during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period occurs from October 15 to December 7 each year and provides an opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries to join or change Medicare Advantage plans.
- Enroll during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you’re eligible for a Special Enrollment Period due to coverage under an employer, such as a group health plan, you may be able to join a Medicare Part C or D plan.
I missed the Medicare General Enrollment Period
The General Enrollment Period runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. If you enroll during this time, your plan’s coverage will begin on July 1 of the same year, and you may be charged a late enrollment fee.
· Enroll during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP): You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if you have had coverage through an employer, such as a group health plan. Enrolling during this window may help you avoid a Medicare late enrollment penalty.
· Enroll during the upcoming Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): If you wait to enroll until AEP, your coverage will begin January 1 of the following year. You may have to pay late enrollment fees.
· Enroll during the next General Enrollment Period (GEP): You may wait to enroll until the next GEP. In that case, your coverage will begin July 1 of the year that you enroll. You may be subject to a Medicare late enrollment penalty.
I missed the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
The Annual Enrollment Period occurs every year and runs from October 15 to December 7. This time period is a yearly opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries to join, drop, or change Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug, or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans. You aren’t required to participate in AEP, but it’s a great time to evaluate your current coverage and make changes.
Join a different plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP): Open Enrollment runs from January 1 to March 31 every year. During this time, those who are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan may make a single change to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
Switch plans during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP):
Certain unique circumstances can create Special Enrollment Periods that can occur at any time during a year. These enrollment periods typically last 2-3 months, depending on your situation.
Participate in the next Annual Enrollment Period (AEP):
If you missed both the Medicare Annual Enrollment and Open Enrollment Periods, you may wait to make changes to your plan until the next Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.
I missed the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
What happens when you intend to change your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, but you forgot or didn’t get the chance?
- Change plans during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP): If you have a special circumstance, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Change plans during the next Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): You can make any changes to your Medicare Advantage plan during AEP, which runs every year from October 15 to December 7.
I missed my Special Enrollment Period
Special Enrollment Periods are open at different times throughout the year for those who are experiencing unique circumstances. Many people use a Special Enrollment Period when they are moving, but there are many situations that open a Special Enrollment Period. If you forget to enroll or re-enroll in your Medicare coverage during a Special Enrollment Period, you will automatically be switched back to Original Medicare (Parts A and B). When can you enroll again if you miss your SEP?
- Enroll during the Annual Enrollment Period: If you missed your Special Enrollment Period, you may not be able to re-enroll until the start of the next AEP (October 15 to December 7).
- If you miss a Special Enrollment Period for enrollment in Medicare Parts A or B, you may not be able to enroll until the General Election Period from January 1 through March 31.
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Last Updated: November 1, 2022 MULTIPLAN_ETQEZMwebsite_0722_M