The time to enroll in Medicare Parts A & B is between the 3 months before and after your 65th birthday. This is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). It’s important not to miss this enrollment window because there is a PERMANENT penalty that increases each year you delay enrolling.
There is, of course, an exception.
You have an 8 month Special Enrollment Period if you or your spouse is working and covered by a group health plan through the employer or union. Your Special Enroll Period starts at one of these times (whichever happens first):
- The month after the employment ends
- The month after group health plan insurance based on current employment ends
Once you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B, it’s time to start researching what kind of Medigap Plan (Medicare Supplemental Plan) and Prescription Plan (Medicare Part D) to get.
Even though it might be another 30 years or so before any of us millennials need to enroll in Medicare, we probably have parents/aunts/uncles that will be enrolling soon. So pass this information along because 90% of people get their enrollment period wrong and end up paying a lot of extra money for unnecessary coverage or worse, ongoing penalty fees.