What is the Medicare General Enrollment Period?
Medicare’s General Enrollment Period (GEP) allows beneficiaries to enroll in Medicare Part AMedicare Part A is hospital coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. It covers inpatient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. It also covers limited home healthcare services and hospice care. and Medicare Part BMedicare Part B is medical coverage for people with Original Medicare benefits. It covers doctor visits, preventative care, tests, durable medical equipment, and supplies. Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of most medically necessary healthcare services. for the first time if they missed their Initial Enrollment PeriodThe Initial Enrollment Period is a seven-month period when new beneficiaries can enroll in Medicare without a penalty. Most people enroll in Medicare at age 65.. The GEP runs from January 1 to March 31.1Medicare.gov, “When does Medicare coverage start?“, Accessed October 1, 2021
- The General Enrollment Period is for enrolling in Medicare Part A and/or Part B only, not Medicare AdvantageMedicare Advantage (MA), also known as Medicare Part C, are health plans from private insurance companies that are available to people eligible for Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B). or Medicare Part DMedicare Part D plans are an option Medicare beneficiaries can use to get prescription drug coverage. Part D plans provide cost-sharing on covered medications in four different phases: deductible, initial coverage, coverage gap, and catastrophic. Each....
- Late enrollment penalties may apply when enrolling in Medicare outside of the Initial Enrollment Period.
If a beneficiaryA person who has health care insurance through the Medicare or Medicaid programs. is enrolled in either Medicare Part A or Part B during their Initial Enrollment Period and didn’t enroll in the other, they can enroll in the other during the GEP2CMS.gov, “Original Medicare (Part A and B) Eligibility and Enrollment“, Accessed October 1, 2021. Medicare coverages enrolled in during the GEP begin July 1st. If the beneficiary does not have special circumstances for delaying coverage, they may suffer Medicare penaltiesMedicare penalties occur when enrolling in Medicare plans after the Initial Enrollment Period has passed. These increased costs can be avoided by enrolling in Medicare within that Initial Enrollment Period. to their monthly premiumsA premium is an amount that an insurance policyholder must pay for coverage. Premiums are typically paid on a monthly basis. In the federal Medicare program, there are four different types of premiums. .1Medicare.gov, “When does Medicare coverage start?“, Accessed October 1, 2021
The General Enrollment Period is not the same as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment PeriodDuring the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, Medicare Advantage and Part D plan members can change, switch, or drop a plan they chose during the Annual Election Period. OEP starts on January 1 and ends on March 31. (January 1 to March 31), nor is it the same as the Annual Enrollment PeriodThe Annual Enrollment Period is when Medicare beneficiaries can join, drop or change Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. AEP begins on 15 October and ends on 7 December. (October 15 to December 7). These enrollment periodsEnrollment periods are designated time periods to enroll or disenroll from the various parts of Medicare. There are six Medicare enrollment periods. have different purposes and different rules.3Medicare.gov, “Joining a health or drug plan“, Accessed October 1, 2021
The General Enrollment Period does not apply to Medicare supplement insuranceMedicare Supplements are additional insurance policies that Medicare beneficiaries can purchase to cover the gaps in their Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) health insurance coverage. (Medigap). Beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B can add, switch, or cancel a Medigap policy at any time. If a beneficiary does not have guaranteed issue rightsGuaranteed-issue is a right granted to Medicare beneficiaries and applies to Medicare Supplement insurance (aka, Medigap plans). All states and the federal government enforce this essential right, which protects Medicare beneficiaries from medical underwriting., medical underwriting may be required.
- 1Medicare.gov, “When does Medicare coverage start?“, Accessed October 1, 2021
- 2CMS.gov, “Original Medicare (Part A and B) Eligibility and Enrollment“, Accessed October 1, 2021
- 3Medicare.gov, “Joining a health or drug plan“, Accessed October 1, 2021