Getting Ready to Retire & Switch to Medicare

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When You Can Enroll

When Are You Retiring?

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Enroll in Part B JanuarySeptember
You'll have 8 months from your retirement to add Part B without a penalty.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP) JanuaryMarch
You'll have 2 full months after the month your coverage ends to get more coverage with a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period JanuaryJuly
You'll have 6 months starting the first day of the month you're enrolled in Part B to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan.

1 Year Before

6 Months Before

3 Months Before

The Month You Retire

  • Apply for Original Medicare benefits through Social Security now. You have 8 months to add Part B without a penalty.
  • Start applying for other coverage, like Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement plans now.
     
    • You have an SEP for 2 months after the month your coverage ends to add a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
    • You'll also have 6 months starting the first day of the month you're enrolled in Part B to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan.
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  • If your spouse or any dependents were covered under your employer’s group plan, make other arrangements for them or shop for an individual plan.

Make sure you don't miss your SEP because you might have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Parts A and B or a penalty to add prescription drug coverage later.

After You've Enrolled

  • Make sure you have your Medicare card and ID cards for any other coverage you enrolled in.
  • Tell your doctors and pharmacy about your new coverage.
  • Learn more about using your new coverage.