I plan to continue working past age 65. When is my Initial Enrollment Period?
That’s a good question. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) includes the month you turn 65, three months prior, and 3 months after. Assuming that your birthday is in July, your enrollment period will begin April 1 and end October 31. However, with every rule there is an exception. In this case, if you are born on the first day of the month, your IEP begins and ends one month earlier. In this example, if your birthday is July 1, your enrollment period would begin March 1 and end September 30.
Note: If you choose to wait until the month of your birthday or the three months after to enroll in Medicare Part B, your effective date will be delayed by up to three months. Using the example above, if you enroll in Medicare Part B in:
April, May, or June—the effective date will be July 1.
July—the effective date is August 1.
August—the effective date is October 1.
September—the effective date is December 1.
October—the effective date is January 1.
Warning: While you can wait three months after you turn 65 to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty, this is not true for Medicare Part D (prescription plan). In our example, if you do not have creditable prescription drug coverage, and you wait until October to enroll in Medicare, the Part D Late Enrollment Penalty will apply.
Key Take-away: When you can enroll in Medicare and when you should enroll may be entirely different.