Medicare enrollment periods have certain deadlines that you must meet. Your timing may affect your costs. The general enrollment period to sign up for part A or part B is January 1 through March 21 every year. The coverage period for your enrolling at this time will start on July 1. This will help you if you were unable to sign up for part A and part B when you first became eligible. There is also a way that you can sign up if you are covered under a group health plan that is based on your current employment.
You can sign up for Medicare enrollment for part A or part B without a penalty if you or your spouse is working and you are covered by a group health plan. A family may sign up for you if you are disabled. You are eligible for this enrollment if the group health plan you are covered by is through your employer or union based. If this coverage ends, you can sign up during the 8 month period which begins after the group health plan coverage ends, or after your employment ends. You can sign up after whichever of these terms happens first. This is called the special enrollment period.
You may also be able to sign up for Medicare enrollment part A or part B if you qualify for a special enrollment for international volunteers. To sign up without a penalty, you have six months which starts the first day of the month. This time period will start if you are no longer volunteering outside of the United States, if you no longer have health insurance that provides coverage outside of the United States, or if the organization that sponsors you is no longer tax exempt. You can do this is you’re serving as a volunteer in a foreign country.
The initial periods for Medicare enrollment for part C and part D vary depending on your circumstances. If you are newly eligible because you turn age 65, you can enroll during the 7-month period that starts three months prior to you turning 65, including the month you turn 65 and three months after. If you are newly eligible because you are disabled and under the age of 65, you can enroll starting 21 months after receiving social security of RRB benefits, for up to six months after the 21st month.
Dave Miller recommends this leading site for information on Medicare Enrollment procedures for your local area.