If you didn’t take Medicare Part B when you were first eligible because you or your spouse were working and had group health plan coverage through your or your spouse’s employer or union, you can sign up for Medicare Part B during a Special Enrollment Period. You can sign up:

  • Anytime you are still covered by the employer or union group health plan through your or your spouse’s current or active employment, or
  • During the 8 months following the month the employer or union group health plan coverage ends, or when the employment ends (whichever is first).

If you are disabled and working (or you have coverage from a working family member), the Special Enrollment Period rules also apply.

When Coverage is Effective if you sign up during a Special Enrollment Period

  • If you enroll in Medicare Part B while covered by the group health plan or during the first full month after coverage ends, your Medicare Part B coverage starts on the first day of the month you enroll. You also can delay the start date for Medicare Part B coverage until the first day of any of the following 3 months.
  • If you enroll during any of the 7 remaining months of the Special Enrollment Period, your Medicare Part B coverage begins the month after you enroll.

Are You Eligible for a Special Enrollment Period?

To find out if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, please contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. You may also contact your local Social Security office

Remember: If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B during your Special Enrollment Period, you’ll have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period, which is January 1 through March 31 of each year. You may then have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium because you could have had Medicare Part B and didn’t take it. Please call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for more information or to enroll in Medicare.