If you will be eligible for Medicare benefits soon, you should be aware of when your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts. Missing your Initial Enrollment Period may have negative repercussions, such as late enrollment penalties or lapses in health coverage. This is what you need to know about Medicare Initial Enrollment Period.
When Is The Initial Enrollment Period?
The Initial Enrollment Period is a unique Medicare enrollment period, as it isn’t set within a standard range of dates. Instead, the Initial Enrollment Period begins around the time someone becomes eligible for Medicare, making it easier for new applicants to take full advantage of Medicare benefits. The IEP begins 3 months before the applicant’s 65th birthday or once they have collected 25 months of disability benefits from Social Security. The period includes their birthday month and continues three months after their birthday passes.
Enrolling during this 7 month period allows you to receive your Medicare benefits without waiting for one of the other enrollment periods. In some cases, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare once you become eligible. This is especially true for individuals who qualify for premium-free Part A benefits.
Why Enroll During IEP?
Although it is not required to enroll during the IEP, many Medicare professionals recommend doing so. By enrolling early, you can avoid late enrollment penalties which may be very expensive if you wait too long. You can also access Medicare Supplement Insurance far more easily. If you want to save on out-of-pocket costs, applying for Medicare Supplement Insurance during your IEP will allow you to access these plans at the lowest available rate without any underwriting.
When Does Medicare Coverage Start?
People who collect disability benefits through Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board will receive Medicare benefits at a date authorized by whichever institution administers their benefits. If you sign up for Original Medicare benefits during your IEP, when your coverage begins will depend on how long you waited to apply for Medicare. Enrolling as soon as your IEP begins will allow you to avoid any lapses in coverage.
Get Help With Enrollment During IEP
The Medicare specialists at Fussell & Goodyear can help you determine when your IEP begins and guide you through the application process. There are many options for Medicare coverage and our knowledgeable team knows about them all. Reach out to us now to schedule a free consultation.