Skip to main content

Did You Forget to Sign Up for Medicare?

If you don’t sign up for Medicare when you’re first eligible, and you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you may have to wait until the Medicare General Enrollment Period to enroll.

Did you sign up incorrectly in Medicare? Or did you forget to enroll during your Initial Enrollment Period? 

Well, don't despair.

You're not alone. "It's become very complicated to enroll correctly in Medicare," said Jae Oh, author of Maximize Your Medicare.

According to, if you don’t sign up for Part A (if you have to buy it) and/or Part B when you’re first eligible, and you don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you may have to wait until the Medicare General Enrollment Period (from January–March 31) to enroll and coverage will start July 1 of that year. 

In most cases, you’ll have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B if you sign up during the General Enrollment Period.

Those who find themselves without health insurance until July 1 could look into a short-term health insurance plan. Carries, however, are "very reluctant to issue plans to those who are above 65," Oh said. 

Additional resources

Enrolling  in Medicare Part A & Part B

Medicare  & You 

More from Retirement Daily


Is Your Roth IRA a Tax Strategy or Tax Trap?

Is Your Life Insurance Policy Worth More Than Its Cash Surrender Value?

Two Cases When a Roth IRA Conversion Makes Sense

How to Find a College that Fits Your Budget and Your Child

How to Create a Tax-Efficient Retirement Income Plan

Ask the Hammer

Should Our Son Delay Attending College?

Ask Bob

Where Can We Find Help for Supporting Elderly Parents When We Retire?

NextGen Money

How to Buy Your First Home

Retirement Research

What's the Value of Social Security and Medicare Lifetime Benefits?

Learning Center

How to Build a Retirement Income Plan

Got Questions?