Q. What if I miss my Medicare enrollment date?
The Short Answer
Missing your Medicare enrollment date can have serious consequences. Enrolling in Medicare Part B is a key event. When you sign up, you begin your Open Enrollment window. During your Open Enrollment you cannot be denied a Medicare supplement insurance plan, a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D—even if you have a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is defined as any condition for which the patient has already received medical advice or treatment prior to enrollment in a new medical insurance plan. This all changes if you enroll late.
If you miss Open Enrollment, you could face the following situations:
- Part B Medical Insurance: If you do not sign up for Part B on time and do not have health coverage, you will pay a penalty if you ever do get Part B for as long as you have Part B.
- Part C Medicare Advantage Plan: You will need to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7. This means you will not have any additional coverage until January 1 of the following year.
- Part D Prescription Drug: You will need to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15 to December 7. Additionally, when you do sign up for a Part D plan, you will pay a penalty premium for as long as you have Part D, if you did not have creditable coverage before signing up.
- Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan: You can apply for this plan at any time, but you could be denied coverage based on existing health conditions.