Skip to main content

Medicare Enrollment

Getting ready to enroll in Medicare is a big step. Start your planning process with us by understanding when to sign up for Medicare. 

There are different time periods throughout the year in which you may enroll, switch or disenroll in a plan. Learn more to prepare your health insurance journey.

How to enroll in Medicare

Here’s how to enroll in a Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage plan

You can sign up online for Medicare Advantage (Parts C and D) as soon as you become eligible for Medicare, or during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), from October 15 to December 7. 

Have questions? Call 800-482-8163 (TDD: 711) to speak with a Geisinger Gold Medicare Advisor.

Enrollment periods

Initial Enrollment Period

For most Medicare beneficiaries, the Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare begins three months before the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65. If you wait past your Initial Enrollment Period to enroll in a plan, you may have fewer options and higher costs.


Annual Enrollment Period

The Annual Enrollment Period takes place each year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, change prescription drug plans or return to Original Medicare. Coverage for enrollment changes takes effect Jan. 1.

Open Enrollment Period

The Open Enrollment Period begins on January 1 and ends on March 31. During this time period you can:

- Make a one-time change to your Medicare Advantage plan
- Disenroll from your Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare
- Enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan (only if disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage plan that included prescription drug to return to Original Medicare)


General Enrollment Period

If you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible, you can catch up by signing up for Medicare Part A or Part B between January 1 and March 31. 

Your coverage will be effective on July 1 of that year.


Special Enrollment Period

Some special circumstances, such as moving or having a change in your health or income, may allow you to enroll in a prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan any time during the year. For more information, call us at 800-426-9313 (TDD: 711) or read more on our eligibility for Medicare page.

What if I missed my Initial Enrollment Period?

It’s best to enroll in Medicare when you’re first eligible.

If you miss your Initial Enrollment Period, you may be subject to a late enrollment penalty for each full twelve-month period you went without Part B coverage. The penalty is 10% of the current Part B premium. A late enrollment penalty can also apply for Part D. For each month you go without Part D prescription drug coverage, Medicare may asses a late enrollment penalty of 1% of the average national premium.
 
If you didn't sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period (see above.)

Still working past 65? 

After you or your spouse retires, you’ll be able to sign up for Medicare and Medicare Advantage (Parts C and D) during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Learn more on our eligibility for Medicare page.

Switching your plan? 

If you qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) you can sign up online anytime for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and prescription drug (Part D) coverage.
 
If you do not have a “qualifying event” you’ll be eligible to switch during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period  (AEP ), from October 15 to December 7. Have questions? Call 800-482-8163 (TDD: 711) to speak with a Geisinger Gold Medicare Advisor.