Original Medicare Enrollment Periods
If a Medicare beneficiary needs to manually enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B, they can sign up during the following times:
Initial Enrollment Period or (IEP) — This is when they are first eligible for Medicare, they have a seven-month period to sign up. This seven-month period begins three months before their 65th birthday, includes the month they turn 65, and ends three months after they turn 65. If they qualify because they are receiving disability benefits, it starts three months before their 25th month of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and lasts seven months.
General Enrollment Period (GEP) — If they miss their Initial Enrollment Period, they can sign up between January 1st through March 31st each year. Their coverage will begin on July 1st. They may have to pay a late-enrollment period in the form of a higher premium for Part A and/or Part B.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP) — If they or their spouse is currently working and they are covered by employer or union-sponsored health insurance, they will have a Special Enrollment Period when their coverage ends, or they stop working.
They may enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) up to 8 months after their employment or employer health insurance ends, whichever comes first.
This is true if they are covered under their spouse's employer coverage, as well. They may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Original Medicare while their employer coverage is still active