Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The period when you can first sign up begins three months before the month in which you turn 65, includes the month of your birthday, and the three months after your birthday.  In total, you have a seven-month period in which you can sign up for part A and part B.  Remember that if you do not qualify for automatic enrollment into Part A, you may have to buy it.  If you do, the same time period applies.


Your Initial Enrollment Period is the period which allows you to enroll for the first time in Medicare.  This period begins three months before your 65th birthday. If you sign up for Parts A and B during this period, your coverage will be effective on the first day of your birthday month. But, if your birthday is on the 1st. day of the month, then your coverage commences on the 1st day of the previous month.


For example: your birthday is on May 15th, and you enroll in Part A and Part B on February 1st.  Your coverage becomes effective on May 1st. But, if your birthday is on May 1st, and you enroll on February 1st., your coverage becomes effective on April 1st., the first day of the previous month.  


If you delay your enrollment in Part A and/or Part B until the month of your 65th. birthday or until the last three months after your birthday, the start date for your Medicare coverage will be delayed.