TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2023
Understanding Medicare enrollment periods is essential for making informed decisions about your health care coverage. There are several enrollment periods available.
Initial Enrollment Period
The initial enrollment period is the first time you’re eligible to sign up for Medicare. This seven-month period starts three months before the month you turn 65 until three months after that month.
If you’re eligible for Medicare due to a disability and are younger than 65, you have a similar seven-month window surrounding your 25th month of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or railroad disability annuity checks to enroll in Medicare.
People receiving disability benefits for 24 months are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at the beginning of the 25th month.
General Enrollment Period
The general enrollment period is Jan. 1 through March 31 each year, with a coverage start date of July 1 of the year you enroll. Be aware that you may have to pay late enrollment penalties if you sign up during the general enrollment period instead of when you’re first eligible.
Special Enrollment Period
Under certain circumstances, you may qualify for a special enrollment period. Different special situations may have different time frames for enrollment.
For instance, if you’re covered under a group health plan based on your or your spouse’s employment, you can enroll anytime you’re still covered by that group health plan or within eight months following the month the employer or union-based coverage ends, or when the employment ends, whichever comes first.
Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) and Medicare Advantage also have special enrollment periods triggered by certain life events.
Annual Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans
Annually, between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7, you can go from Original Medicare coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa. During this time, you can select a new Medicare Advantage plan, enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan, alter your existing drug plan or discontinue your Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This enrollment window is open annually from Jan. 1 through March 31. Within this timeframe, if you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or revert to Original Medicare as a one-time election. Should you opt for Original Medicare, you also can enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.
5-Star Special Enrollment Period
If a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Cost plan or Medicare prescription drug plan has been awarded five stars by the Medicare star ratings system is available in your area, you can switch to that plan once from Dec. 8 of the current year to Nov. 30 of the following year.
Contact InsurePro serving Abingdon, Pennington, gap, Clintwood, Honaker and Norton, Virginia. Our Medicare experts can help you determine when to sign up for Medicare or make changes to your current Medicare coverage. Our team is ready to help you navigate getting health care coverage to meet your needs.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.
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