Medicare Election Periods

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – 

This is when someone first becomes eligible and can sign up for Medicare.  It begins 3 months before the 65th birth month and lasts three months after.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – Oct 15 – Dec 7th

Medicare eligible people can enroll in, disenroll from or change to a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug plan to start Jan. 1st following year.

Open Enrollment Period (OEP) – Jan 1st – Mar 31st.

During this period, people with Medicare Advantage can make plan changes to another Medicare Advantage plan (with or without prescription drug coverage) or Original Medicare (with or without prescription drug coverage).

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) –  

You could qualify for a special enrollment period during any month when certain events happen even if it’s outside of AEP and OEP.  There are many types of SEPs but some common ones are:

  • If you moved
  • If you qualify for Medicaid or Extra Help w/ Prescriptions (LIS)
  • If you moved into/from an institution like a nursing home/skilled nursing facility
  • If you enroll into a plan with a 5-Star Overall Quality Rating

Signing up late can affect premium costs

You may have to pay a Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP) if you sign up late for Part B or Part D when you first become eligible for Medicare.  Find out more by visiting and searching for:

  • Part B Late Enrollment Penalty
  • Part D Late Enrollment Penalty
  • Special Circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods)