New Start Dates for Medicare Part B Coverage Coming in 2023

November 17, 2022 • By

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Last Updated: November 17, 2022

woman checking Medicare information on a tabletChanges are coming next year for Medicare Part B coverage.

What is not changing:
If you are eligible at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP):

  • Begins three months before your 65th birthday.
  • Includes the month of your 65th birthday.
  • Ends three months after your 65th birthday.

If you are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B or if you sign up during the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start the month you’re first eligible. If you sign up the month you turn 65, your coverage will start the first day of the following month. This won’t change with the new rule.

What is changing:

Starting January 1, 2023, your Medicare Part B coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up, if you sign up during the last three months of your IEP.

Before this change, if you signed up during the last three months of your IEP, your Medicare Part B coverage started two to three months after you enrolled.

If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B during your IEP, you have another chance each year during the General Enrollment Period (GEP). The GEP lasts from January 1 through March 31. Starting January 1, 2023, your coverage starts the first day of the month after you sign up.

You can learn more about these updates on our Medicare webpage and our Medicare publication.

Please pass this information along to someone who may need it.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Faizullah.sharifzoi


  2. Patty P.

    You didn’t really answer the full question. What is the start date of coverge if you apply during the 1st 3 months BEFORE your birthday?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Patty. Thanks for your question. If you sign up during the first three months of your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), your coverage will start the month you’re first eligible (the month you turn age 65). For more information, please visit our Medicare Benefits webpage. We hope this helps. 

  3. Bill U.

    Hi, I am trying to get my medicare number as I did not receive my card yet. Where can I get my number? My Medicare start date is 3/1/2023

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bill. If you need a replacement Medicare card or immediate proof that you have Medicare, you can take care of both online by setting up a personal my Social Security account. We hope this helps.


    • Lori

      Check your “Benefits Verification Letter” which you can access from the home page. If your application has been processed, your Medicare number and effective dates will appear in the Benefits Verification Letter.

  4. Cynthia C.

    I have paid my Medicare premium for December, January and February.
    I have received a bill for my next payment that is due February 25. The coverage periods are for March 1 through May 31.
    I have applied for Social Security and my first payment date is scheduled for March 8.
    Am I required to make a Medicare premium payment or will I be reimbursed for February?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Cynthia. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  5. John H.

    I have a question about spousal benefits both born in 1959. My spouse has the lower benefit. If I have not applied for my benefit she cannot get the spousal benefit say $500 dollars. If she get her benefit early it will be reduced say to $1000 with no spousal benefit included. If I then apply for my benefit after my spouse reaches full retirement will their benefit go up the full amount of the spousal part to $1500 or does taking their benefit early also reduce the spousal benefit even though they could not collect it because I hadn’t started my benefit.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, John. Thanks for your questions. If a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all of the benefits the person may qualify for. Your wife may still be eligible to collect reduced benefits on your record when you apply. Remember, if someone is eligible for both, his or her own benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay their own first. If their spousal benefits are higher than their own retirement benefits, he or she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information. We hope this helps. 


  6. Greg E.

    My 70th birthday is May 9. To get the maximum benefit, should I apply to start my benefit in May or June?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Greg. Thanks for your question. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of May, you will receive your first benefit payment in June. In your case and to get the most of your delayed retirement credits you should select May as your 1st month of payment. Remember that the benefit increase no longer applies when you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits. We hope this information helps.

  7. Donald R.

    This Get Help response for Check status of Application is useless!
    “How do I check the status of a pending application for benefits online?

    If you applied for benefits, you can check the status of your application right from your personal my Social Security account. On the “My Home” page, scroll down to the “Your Benefit Application” section and select “View Details” under the “More Info” heading. You can view your application status in the “Current Status” section.

    Your application status shows:

    Your re-entry number for an online benefit application or online appeal that has not been submitted.
    Your re-entry number for an online benefit application or online appeal that has not been submitted.
    The date we received your application or appeal.
    Scheduled hearing date and time.
    Current claim or appeal location, including the address of the office processing your application.
    If a decision has been made.”

    The following links cannot be found, on pages:
    “My Home”
    “Your Benefit Application”
    “View Details”
    “More Info”
    “Current Status” section.

    I submitted my Medicare Part B application directly at the Aurora, CO, office by drop off box. I found out only by calling the office directly that it was logged in on 12/19/22 and that the paperwork lacked an instruction to specify a desired start date (supposedly this was added to the notes by the call agent). I am now almost 2 months since my drop off, and almost a month since my phone calls, I have no official written notification of receipt, in process status, or estimated time to determination.

  8. Mary S.

    My sister worked until age 69. She filed for SSA benefits and Medicare Part A timely, but when she stopped working, forgot to file for Medicare Part B timely. Unfortunately, since then she got cancer which has spread and needs very expensive treatment. Doctor is waiting for her Part B to start in order to begin next phase. Under new GEP rules eff January 2023, she would be entitled to Part B the month after filing, but would also have an added penalty. Told by 800# rep that cannot complete form online and must submit form by mail or fax. Did that by certified mail on Jan 3, 2023, to local SSA office. Unfortunately, still waiting for acknowledgment of Part B enrollment. Contacted 800# weeks later and rep said there is no indication that the form was scanned into system. Medicare website continues to show only Part A entitlement. Finally contacted my congressman in hopes of expediting this. Nothing productive has happened yet. Should we visit local SSA office with copies of form we mailed to get this resolved? BTY, 800# said they can no longer make appointments. So, I need to take my sick sister into SSA office with me and just wait in line! Please advise.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mary. We are sorry to hear about your sister’s condition and experience. We encourage her to continue to work with her local Social Security office. She can ask to speak to a manager on her next call or visit. We hope this is resolved soon. 

    • Sarah S.

      Mary, look for form SSA 1696. Your sister can designate you as her representative and avoid having to go to the office herself.

  9. Barbara B.

    My 65 birthday was yesterday 2/1. I spent hours numerous phone and online research hours preparing for SS Medicare. I enrolled in Medicare A & B at the end of January wanting a February 1st start date. Yesterday I physically went to my local SS office because I need my medicare number to process an Advantage plan. I was told I had to have my part B start in Jan if I want my Medicare number. The problem is I don’t want it to retro back to Jan because I was on a market place plan, I also didn’t want to start withdrawing my SS (in order to pay the $165 part B) until the month of Feb. All this to say that I was told if chose to not go ahead and file in Feb and wait until March, so I can have a Feb 1st enrollment date, by my choosing to do this…I will have to wait weeks to get a Medicare number generated. That means not only do I have to go through the month of Feb without the ability to process an Advantage plan, but also March. This RULE needs to CHANGE. This rule has caused me so much distress. I tried to follow all the many complicated rules in order to have medical coverage and not be fined, however SS is making that impossible with the long delays and not letting me select a later start date during my “initial enrollment period.” Tell me why I am being forced to have my enrollment date start a month before I would like it to???? This process is hard enough to navigate through with all the complicated rules for this 1st of the month birthday rule to cause me to not be able to plan my Medicare start date without delay’s. I wish I was born on Feb 2nd! Please help me sign up for part B in February and not have to delay my enrolling until March to avoid these issues. Where it stands now is I withdrew my application that I submitted at the end of January with the “hopes” of a February start date and the ability to have a Medicare number to get my Advantage Plan processed to start in Feb (can’t be processed w/o part B) and now I am only enrolled in part A without any other insurance waiting for March 1st to come around, so I can return to the SS office (told it must be done in person, even though they push using the online services) to be able to get a Medicare number (which will be delayed, I was told) so that has me going 2 months Feb and March with only Part A so I can have my start date the date I need it to be.
    Needless to say this is beyond upsetting. I would appreciate and suggestions as to how I can get my Medicare number ASAP so I can process an Advantage Plan W/O having to do what I described above.
    Thank you in advance for any help,
    Very frustrating and wrong for this to be a rule. I would appreciate some help.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Barbara. We are sorry to hear about your situation and experience. Unfortunately, your comment is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. We encourage you to continue to work with your your local Social Security office. We hope this is resolved soon. 

  10. MONA H.

    ( MEDICARE PART -A , STARTED ON 12/01/2021)

    • B. O.

      Why would you want to drop Medicare part B? Based on our experience with my father (has only part A) and my father-in-law (has only part B), part B has covered a lot more.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mona. Thanks for your question. To terminate your enrollment, we will help you submit a signed request for termination or Form CMS-1763. Typically, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires, when possible, a personal interview be conducted with everyone who wishes to terminate entitlement. Therefore, we do not offer form CMS-1763 online. Please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      • Mark G.


        I am wondering if CMS-1763 is what I need to fill out. I registered for Part A shortly after turning 65 in Feb ’23. I have been notified that I am also registered for Part B and have recieved a bill. However, I don’t want Part B as I am still working and covered by my employer’s Health Plan (> 100 employees). Do I need to fill out 1763 and do i need to go through an interview? Thanks!

        • Ann C.

          Hi, Mark. Thanks for visiting our blog. Please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. 

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