Medicare Enrollment Times

Know your enrollment dates so you know when you need to apply for Medicare.

Initial Medicare Enrollment Period

During this period most people get

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)

and Part B (Medical Insurance). It

starts 3 months before you turn 65 and

ends 3 months after you turn 65. If

you’re not already collecting Social

Security benefits before your initial

enrollment period starts, you’ll need to

sign up for Medicare online or contact

Social Security.

Initial Coverage Enrollment Period (ICEP)

First time someone can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), and requires enrollment in Medicare parts A and B beforehand.  It can run parallel with the Initial Enrollment Period, in which case the time frame is:

  • Similar to Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

  • Based on the month your Medicare Part B is effective.

  • Typically applies after you come off of employer coverage when you turn 65.

  • Can sign up in Part B and choose supplemental coverage.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

If you want to make changes to your Medicare coverage, you can do so between October 15 and December 7.  The changes will take effect on January 1 the following year.

General Medicare Enrollment Period

 If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during Medicare’s

General Enrollment Period which is between January 1–March 31,  and your

coverage will start July 1.

Special Medicare Enrollment Period (SEP)

Time period in which you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and

Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life.

Some examples are:

  • Retire and lose your employer coverage

  • Disabled or diagnosed with a chronic illness

  • Receive assistance from the state

  • Move out of the plan’s service area