Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
IEP for Clients Turning 65
This plan, which starts three months before you turn 65, lasts for seven months. IEP is used to enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and can be utilized to enroll in Part B (doctor or outpatient services and medical equipment) if you meet certain conditions. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
IEP for Medicare Through Disability
If you are under 65 but become eligible for Medicare due to a disability, you will be informed by Social Security when their coverage will begin. It usually starts 24 months after the disability benefits were approved. You will then be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, but you can opt out of Part B. When you turn 65, you are then entitled to a second seven-month IEP.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
SEP for Part B
This is applicable if you are beyond 65 and have evidence that you had group health insurance from the employer for whom you or your spouse was working since you turned 65. SEP runs for eight months from when you or your spouse stopped working. However, to ensure continuous health coverage, you can enroll before that date. The Part B coverage will then begin on the first of the month after enrollment.
SEP for Part D
If you are over 65, you may enroll in Part D if you continue to have “creditable” drug coverage. This means that Medicare considers your policy of at least equal value to Part D. When the coverage ends, you can take advantage of this SEP and immediately sign up without penalty if you meet certain eligibility conditions.
Other SEPs Available
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be eligible for various types of SEPs. If you live in a nursing home, give up your Medicare Supplement policy to join a Medicare Advantage plan, receive Extra Help to pay for your medication, or have other special situations, there is a plan for you.