Medicare Enrollment

Is there rolling enrollment for Medicare?

When it comes to enrolling in Medicare, there are specific windows in which you need to apply. The good news is that there are many opportunities to enroll in Medicare, even if you miss your initial enrollment period. The bad news? Sometimes, missing your enrollment period can lead to lifetime penalty fees depending on the plan you choose. 

Initial Medicare Enrollment Period

You are first eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 years old. Enrollment starts three months before your birth month and extends three months after your birth month, for a seven-month enrollment window. For example, if your birthday were April 18, enrollment would begin in January and end in July. While this window is a generous timeframe, understanding and discovering the right medicare plan for you can be challenging without research or professional guidance. It is best to enroll during this window to avoid the Part B and Part D late enrollment fees and ensure you can receive coverage sooner than later. 


If you are currently receiving social security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you will be enrolled automatically. The cost of your plan is deducted from your social security or benefit checks. 

Medicare Open Enrollment Period

If you miss your first enrollment window, you have another opportunity during the Medicare Enrollment Period from October 15-December 7. While signing up during this period may mean you have Part B and Part D late enrollment fees, the sooner you sign-up, the less those fees will be. 

This enrollment period is also the time for those already enrolled in Medicare to make changes to their plans, including switching from Original Medicare to Medicare advantage and vice versa. While some unenroll on their Part D plan, if you do not have creditable coverage (for example, from your employer), you will likely have a late enrollment fee if you re-enroll at a later date. Others might use this window of opportunity to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan or change their Part D prescription plan. 

General Medicare and Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period

If you missed your initial enrollment period or the Open enrollment period, you have another chance during the general enrollment period, which lasts from January 1-March 3. Enrolling during this period indicates that you will most likely have a Part B late enrollment fee attached to your Medicare costs. It also leads to a longer delay in receiving the health care coverage you need. 

During this window, you will also be able to choose an Advantage plan or enroll in Part D if you didn’t do so during your initial enrollment. 

Special Enrollment Period

There are occasions in which you are granted a special enrollment period based on circumstances such as moving, losing your job, or if you qualify for additional financial assistance. Most of the enrollment periods last two months. Medicare.Gov provides a complete list of special circumstances. 

While there are many opportunities to enroll in Medicare, the process may seem overwhelming and complicated, especially when choosing the best plan for you. Working with a professional like EZ Medicare 4 U can help you navigate the entire process and help set you up for healthcare success.