The initial enrollment period for Medicare is a relatively small window lasting seven months and should not be overlooked. There are key enrollment periods laid out for each enrollment type and if done correctly will save you money, and avoid both delays and possible penalties.
The seven-month initial enrollment Period Consist of three months before you turn 65, the month of your birthday and three months after you turn 65. If you miss this enrollment window it is possible you can face enrollment penalty fees and coverage delays. If you are closing in on your 65th birthday it would be a great idea to set some kind of reminder to ensure that you do not miss your enrollment window.
In this seven-month Period, you can enroll for Medicare parts a and B, a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan also known as part D, and part C which is a Medicare advantage plan. Once again it is best to sign up for parts A, B, or D when you are first eligible to avoid paying higher premiums or face any penalties. As a side note, if you currently receive Social Security when you turn 65 years of age, you are automatically enrolled in Medicare parts A and B.
Medicare Supplement Enrollment Period
Supplemental Medicare coverage can be used to help with additional costs and the best time for you to sign up for a supplemental plan is within six months of the day you turn 65, this is assuming that you have signed up for Medicare part B. This open enrollment. For a supplemental plan may not be available to you if you miss the six-month window. There are some exceptions to this rule that will allow you to qualify for coverage.
General Enrollment Period
Each year from January 1 to March 31 is a period of time in which you can sign up for Medicare part a and or part B if you did not sign up when your first eligible. You can also sign up during this. If you were not eligible for the special enrollment period. If you sign up during this general enrollment time, your coverage should begin starting July 1 of that year.
Annual Enrollment Period
Between October 15 and December 7 each year any person can make changes to their Medicare coverage or enroll in a Medicare plan. This is also a time. And which you can switch from an original plan to an advantage plan or vice versa. During this period you may also add a plan with drug coverage or drop a Medicare prescription drug plan. One last option you can take advantage of is switching to a new plan from your current insurer or switching to a new insurer altogether. Please note that if you make any changes during the annual enrollment. That the effects will not take place until January 1 of the following year.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This window occurs from January 1 through March 31 each year. At this time if you are enrolled in a Medicare advantage plan, you can make a one time change to go to either another Medicare advantage plan or back to an original Medicare plan. If you make any changes regarding the before mentioned your coverage will start the first day of the month following the month that you made that change.
Special Enrollment Period
There are some special cases in which you can make changes to your plans outside of all of the basic enrollment periods mentioned above. These circumstances include the following:
if you plan to move, you can switch starting the month before you move or up to two months after you make your move. If you switch your plan after you move you can switch from the moment you notify your insurer through the next two months.
With so many time constraints and restriction periods associated with Medicare, it is important to make note in advance if you wish to make any changes so that you can prepare yourself to do so within the right timeframe. When selecting an enrollment period that fits your situation make sure to write it down or set a reminder in your smart device so that you do not miss this. In face penalties or delays.