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Ask Esther your Medicare questions.

Ask Esther your Medicare questions.Q: I will turn 65 in September and be eligible for Medicare. Can I enroll in October during my Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and request the effective date to be on January 1?

A: The Medicare enrollment timeline and coverage starting date for a new beneficiary in his/her Initial Enrollment Period follow this guideline shown in the picture below.

Medicare enrollment and start date

Photo source:

For example, Lisa will be eligible for Medicare in September. Her Initial Enrollment Period is from June – December. So if she enrolls in December, she may have her part A start on September 1st and part B start on January 1st.

She can’t enroll in November and request for her part B to start on January 1st.

The only case that allows you to adjust your part B starting date is when you delay your part B enrollment due to having employer coverage. In this case, you can enroll in November and request your part B starts on January 1st.


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Ask Esther is a column where we share some real situations faced by our clients in their Medicare journey. For privacy, we don’t disclose the real name of the client and other personal information. The answer provided here is for general guidelines only because every case may be different and should be approached in a unique, different way based on the client’s needs and situation. If you have any questions about Medicare, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment.

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