Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP)

Most people enroll for Medicare Part B (Medical) at age 65 or defer enrollment without future penalty because they have medical coverage through their own current employment or the current employment of a spouse. There is a special Part B enrollment period without penalty or increased premium for these people.

Today’s post does not concern them.

People who refused Medicare Part B for other reasons can enroll it in now during the annual general enrollment period (GEP).

The GEP is from January 1 to March 31 with coverage beginning on July 1 of the year you enroll.

People enrolling in Medicare Part B via the general enrollment period pay a late enrollment penalty that will last as long as they have Part B coverage and this becomes significant over time. This penalty increases the monthly premium by 10 percent for each 12-month period that the person was eligible for Part B but did not sign up for it.

More about all of this is in the Medicare portion of the Social Security website at and the booklet Medicare.