- The GEP takes place from January 1 through March 31 of each year. During this period, you can enroll in Medicare Part B (and Part A, if you have to pay a premium for Part A and therefore cannot enroll at any time).
- Enrolling during the GEP means that your coverage will start on July 1. Until that time, you will not be covered by Medicare.
- Enrolling in Medicare during the GEP often means that you will have to pay a Part B premium penalty, a penalty of 10% of the Part B premium for every 12-month period you delayed enrollment in Medicare.
Note: If you are eligible for premium-free Part A because you or your spouse have at least 40 calendar quarters or work in any job where you paid Social Security taxes in the United States, you can sign up for Part A at any time and will not have a late enrollment penalty for delaying enrollment. Many people are eligible for premium-free Part A. If you are not eligible for premium-free Part A, you can use the GEP to sign up for Part A, too.
Important Notice: If your IEP included any months between March 17 and June 17, 2020, or if you missed enrolling in the 2020 GEP, you may have additional rights to enroll in Medicare Part B through equitable relief as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. To use this equitable relief, you need to contact Social Security to enroll in Medicare before June 17, 2020.
Read More: When Can I Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Learn About: When Can I Enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan?
Return to: Medicare In-Depth
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