Medicare Enrollment Periods At-A-Glance
There are certain times when you can sign up for Medicare. You should enroll on time.
If you wait to sign up, you may have to pay penalties when you do join.
The following enrollment period information is for Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Prescription Drug Plans:
The first time you can sign up for Medicare. This is the 7-month period before and after your birthday. The period includes the three months prior to your birthday month, your birthday month, and the three months following your birthday month.
For those choosing to keep their current coverage after they turn 65. Sign up anytime while still covered by an employer. Or sign up for Parts A and B within 8 months after the coverage or employment ends (whichever happens first) or sign up for Parts C and D within 63 days after the coverage or employment ends (whichever happens first).
You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage. These chances to make changes are called Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.
Some SEPs include:
Moving to a new address that isn’t in your plan’s service area
Moving back to the U.S. after living outside the country
Moving into, or out of, an institution
Being released from jail
Losing Medicaid eligibility
Your plan changes its contract with Medicare
You’re eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.
See these, and other, SEPs with detailed descriptions at Medicare.gov
If you miss your initial Enrollment Period or Special Enrollment Periods, you can enroll during the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans:
October 15 through December 7