50 Wishes for
Medicare’s Future

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Wish #18:
Minimize coverage gaps during the General Enrollment Period (GEP)

People who do not enroll in Medicare during their Initial Enrollment Period and do not have access to a Special Enrollment Period must enroll in Medicare Part B during the GEP, from January to March of each year. Yet coverage does not begin until July of that same year—meaning some people go up to seven months without coverage after trying to enroll in Part B. These gaps increase reliance on emergency room care and create needless health risks. Congress should eliminate gaps in coverage during the GEP and start coverage the month immediately following enrollment.