What is the time frame for applying for Medicare Part B?
A) The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and extends three months after your birthday. This is a seven-month window during which you can enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty.
For example, if your birthday is in September, your initial enrollment period begins on June 1st and ends on December 31st. If you enroll during this time, your coverage will start on the first day of the month you turn 65.
If you miss your initial enrollment period, you can still sign up for Medicare Part B during the general enrollment period, which runs from January 1st to March 31st each year. However, if you enroll during this period, your coverage won’t start until July 1st of that year, and you may also have to pay a late enrollment penalty.
It’s important to note that if you have coverage through your employer or a spouse’s employer, you may be able to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B without penalty. In this case, you can sign up for Part B during a special enrollment period when you lose your other coverage.
According to the Medicare Website: When you’re first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.
For example, if you’re eligible 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, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.
If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B (for which you must pay premiums) when you were first eligible, and you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (see below), you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year.
Your coverage will start July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part A and/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B.