If you are not automatically enrolled in Medicare, you are able to sign up for coverage as early as 3 months before your 65th birthday and as late as 3 months after. But what happens if you miss this initial enrollment period?
If you were not able to enroll in Medicare coverage during your initial enrollment period and do not qualify for a special enrollment period, you may enroll during the two open enrollment periods that occur each year.
The first one is the general enrollment period between January 1st and March 31st. You can only sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during this time. Your coverage will start on July 1st.
During the general enrollment period at the end of the year, you are also able to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
The second open enrollment period is between October 15th and December 7th. During this time, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Part D. Your coverage will begin on January 1st.
You can also switch from Medicare Part A and B to a Medicare Advantage plan during the second open enrollment period.
As of 2023, the premium for Medicare Part B is $164.90 monthly for most people. If your tax return from 2 years prior shows your income was more than $91,000, your premium will be higher.
If you are not exempt from the late enrollment penalty, your premium will increase 10 percent for each year you did not sign up after you first met qualifications.