5 Things to know about the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period

The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) for Medicare is essential to starting your Medicare coverage on the right foot. Whether or not you plan to retire at 65, it’s important to know about your IEP to set yourself up for success in the future.

Here are 5 things to know about the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period:

  1. IEP is your ideal time to enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, and D. (Part A and Part B are also known as Original Medicare. Part D is prescription drug coverage.)
  2. Your IEP begins three months before your 65th birthday month and ends three months after — for a total of seven months including your birth month.
  3. If you’re not already receiving Social Security or RRB benefits, you must sign up for Medicare Parts A and B — otherwise, you’re automatically enrolled. Most people get Part A without a monthly premium but have to pay for Part B.
  4. Even if you don’t plan to begin retirement at age 65, you can still sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during your IEP and switch to a Medicare Advantage plan with more complete coverage after retirement, like dental, vision, hearing, critical illness, and much more!
  5. You can delay your Part B coverage if you are not yet retired. You may want to do this if you’re already paying for insurance through your employer and want to avoid paying the Part B premium.

Getting started with your Medicare coverage can feel overwhelming. But SmartMatch is here to help! We have resources online and over-the-phone to help you feel confident in your Medicare coverage.

If you’re approaching 65, mark your calendars now so you don’t miss your IEP!

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