YOUR INITIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (IEP) IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT, BUT CLOSES QUICKLY. BE SURE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH SO YOU CAN ACT QUICKLY.
While there are four enrollment times you'll need to track for Medicare, the Initial Enrollment Period is your most important sign up time. You'll make decisions that can impact coverage for the next year and even down the road. If you miss it, you may have to pay more for premiums later.
GETTING THE TIMING RIGHT
Your IEP lasts 7 months, including the 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday and the 3 months after the month of your 65th birthday. If you sign up during the 7 month period, your effective date will be the first of the month following enrollment (after you turn 65).
MAXIMIZING THE BENEFITS
During your IEP, you should enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B or both. Part B is optional, but recommended unless you have employer-sponsored coverage. You can also choose to join a Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan with optional prescription drug benefits during your IEP.