If I’m not automatically enrolled, when can I sign up?
If you want Part A and/or Part B, you can sign up during these times:
Initial Enrollment Period
You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B 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 sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the first 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, in most cases, your coverage starts the first day of your birthday month. However, if your birthday is on the first day of the month, your coverage will start the first day of the
prior month. If you enroll in Part A and/or Part B the month you turn 65 or during the last 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, the start date for your Medicare coverage will be delayed.
General Enrollment Period
If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B (for which you must pay premiums) when you were first eligible, you can sign up between January 1–March 31 each year. Your coverage will begin July 1 of that year. You may have to pay a higher Part A and/or Part B premium for late enrollment. See pages 26 and 28.
Special Enrollment Period
If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B when you were first eligible because you’re covered under a group health plan based on current employment (your own, a spouse’s, or a family member’s if you’re disabled), you can sign up for Part A and/or Part B: Anytime you’re still covered by the group health plan During the 8-month period that begins the month after the employment ends or the coverage ends, whichever happens first
Remember, if you live in Puerto Rico, you don’t automatically get Part B. You must call Social Security at 1‑800‑772‑1213 to sign up for it. TTY users should call 1‑800‑325‑0778.
Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a Special Enrollment Period. This Special Enrollment Period doesn’t apply to people with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). See page 20. You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’re a volunteer serving in a foreign country. COBRA coverage and retiree health plans aren’t considered coverage based on current employment. You’re not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when that coverage ends. To avoid paying a higher premium, make sure you sign up for Medicare when you’re first eligible. See page 100 for more information about COBRA coverage. To learn more details about enrollment periods, visit Medicare.gov/publications to view the fact sheet “Enrolling in Medicare Part A & Part B.” You can also call 1‑800‑MEDICARE (1‑800‑633‑4227) to find out if a copy can be mailed to you. TTY users should call 1‑877‑486‑2048.