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Medicare Announces Extended General Enrollment Deadline

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Each year, the Medicare General Enrollment Period runs from January 1 through March 31. This enrollment period allows those eligible for Medicare to sign up for Original Medicare benefits. However, the General Enrollment Period for 2022 has proved difficult for those hoping to enroll.

You must contact Social Security to apply for Medicare benefits. Many hoping to enroll during the General Enrollment Period this year may have experienced issues getting through to Social Security via telephone. This is due to a significant system-wide technical issue.

In light of this unforeseen circumstance, Medicare is extending the General Enrollment Period through the end of the year for anyone eligible.

Who is Impacted by the Medicare Enrollment Extension?

If any of the following scenarios apply to you in 2022, you are eligible for extra time to enroll in Original Medicare:

  • You are eligible for Medicare but have not yet signed up for Medicare Part A, Part B, or both
  • You were unable to enroll during the Medicare General Enrollment Period in 2022 due to Social Security Administration telephone issues
  • You became eligible to sign up for Medicare for the first time between January 1, 2022, to December 30, 2022, and could not do so due to Social Security telephone issues

How Do I Enroll During the Medicare Enrollment Extension?

Signing up for Original Medicare during the General Enrollment Period extension is the same as applying during a typical enrollment period. There are three ways to enroll in Original Medicare. These include:

  • Online by visiting SSA.gov
  • By phone at 1-800-772-1213
  • In-person by visiting your local Social Security office

You only need to choose one way to enroll in Original Medicare. It is not necessary to do all three.

Will Late Enrollment Penalties Apply During the Medicare Enrollment Extension?

If you delay Original Medicare benefits and do not have creditable coverage, you may be subject to late enrollment penalties. These penalties can last as long as you have Medicare coverage.

How long you go without coverage will determine what you owe in penalties. Medicare Part A and Part B have late enrollment penalties, so enrolling as soon as you are eligible is essential.

If you enroll in Medicare anytime between January 1 and December 30, 2022, the extension time will not count towards late enrollment penalties. However, this only includes the Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B late enrollment penalties.

Remember that you will still be responsible for the Medicare Part D penalty if you enrolled in Original Medicare before January 1, 2022 and did not enroll in drug coverage.

When Will Medicare Coverage Begin if You Sign Up During the Enrollment Extension?

The exact date your Medicare coverage begins will depend on when you became eligible for Medicare benefits. Suppose you are enrolling for the first time during your Initial Enrollment Period. In this case, coverage will start on the first day of your 65th birth month. If you are eligible due to disability, coverage begins on the first day of the month you receive your 24th Social Security disability benefit check. If either of those dates has passed, your coverage will begin on the first of the following month.

Additionally, if you are enrolling during the General Enrollment Period, your coverage will begin on the first day of the following month.

How to Utilize the Medicare Enrollment Extension in 2022

Once you enroll in Original Medicare, it is crucial to enroll in Medicare Part D and a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan. The enrollment extension only applies to Original Medicare, so you will be unable to extend other enrollment periods.

At MedicareFAQ, our licensed Medicare agents help eliminate the hassle of finding the right plans to supplement our Original Medicare coverage. We work with you to analyze your needs and provide you with the best plans in your area.

Once you decide on a plan and carrier, we help walk you through the enrollment process to ensure a smooth transition to Medicare. Give us a call or complete our online rate form to receive a free online rate comparison!

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