When to Enroll in Medicare

Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins 3 full months before your 65th birthday. If you enroll in Medicare Part A & Part B during these 3 months, your Medicare coverage will begin on the first day of your birthday month. If your birthday is on the 1st day of any given month, you can enroll 4 months prior to your birthday month and Medicare coverage will begin one month sooner, on the first of the month prior to your birthday month. Your IEP extends for 3 months following your birthday as well, however, your Medicare coverage date may be delayed 2-4 months if you wait to enroll after your 65 birthday.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period – A E P

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) occurs every year from October 15 through December 7. During this time you can changes to your Medicare health or drug plans. You can switch, add, or drop plans. Specifically, you can change from original Medicare (and a supplement plan) to a Medicare Advantage plan. You can also drop your Medicare Advantage plan to return to original Medicare or change to a new Medicare Advantage plan that offers better benefits to fit your needs. Any changes made during the annual enrollment period will go into effect on January 1 of the following year. It is very important to review your annual notice of change typically received in September each year to determine changes in your current coverage. Check for increased premiums, changes in drug coverage or copayments. If you don’t like the changes, this is the time you can request my help to look for a better plan.

Other Medicare Enrollment Periods


Initial Enrollment Period General Enrollment Period Special Enrollment Period
Who Can Apply People turning 65 in 3-4 months People who missed IEP or Delayed Part B and did not have any other insurance People who have large group employer coverage and Delayed Part B since still working
When Can I Apply 7 month window around your birthday
  • 3 months before your 65th birthday month
  • Your 65th birthday month
  • 3 months after your 65th birthday month
January 1 to March 31
Your coverage will begin on July 1 or the same year you apply.
While you or your spouse are still working and covered by the group employer plan


8 month window after the employment ends or the group coverage ends.