Here at Atlantic Insurance & Benefit we specialize in helping our clients buy NH & MA Medicare Supplement Insurance and Medicare Advantage Plans. There are several different times when someone can enroll in Medicare Parts A & B - here are questions and answers that may help you.
Q: When is Medicare Open Enrollment?
A: Open Enrollment October 15- December 7th each year!
Q: What is Medicare Open Enrollment?
Medicare Open Enrollment is a time each year where Seniors may make a new decision for the Medicare coverages for the upcoming year (January 1).
Each year Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are able to make changes to their coverage. So we often see plans change in costs, coverage, pharmacies and even DRUG FORMULARY (how RX are covered). It's important that Seniors who are Medicare eligible take the time to review their current coverage and evaluate how proposed changes will impact them for the upcoming year.
Here is a quick list of what can be done during Medicare's annual open enrollment:
- Select a new Part D RX plan
- If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan you can choose a different Medicare Advantage Plan-or-decide to return to Original Medicare
- If you are enrolled on Original Medicare (For example an NH Medicare Supplement Plan F and a Part D RX) you can depart that type of coverage enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan
Q: When can I see changes in plans for upcoming year?
A: Most NH Medicare Advantage and NH Part D RX plans will publish their upcoming year info around October 1st.
(We know our Senior clients are early birds!! On Medicare.gov they say early October is when new plan info is available).
Q: When Can I enroll in Medicare?
A: The Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the time when you can enroll in Medicare Part A and or Part B.
The IEP begins 3 months before your 65th birthday - includes the month that you turn 65- and lasts for an extra three months after your birth month. (So it's a lucky 7 months total!)
Q: What happens if I do not need Medicare because I have insurance through work?
A: You can delay enrolling in Medicare as long as the coverage you have is considered Creditable Coverage by Medicare Standards. (Creditable Coverage is defined here- but in laymen's terms if your employer health insurance is as good as Medicare you have Creditable Coverage. Most employer sponsored plans meet this criteria).
So you if you say "No thank you" to Medicare A&B when you are first eligible you can enroll in Medicare A&B pretty much ANY Time. Also when you leave employment or lose employer sponsored plan you have what is called a SEP. We say think of it as your OWN SPECIAL OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD.
For more info on SEP visit Medicare's website here.
Q: What is the General Enrollment Period?
A: You can sign up for Medicare Part A and B January 1- March 31 each year If:
- You did NOT sign up for Medicare A&B when you were first eligible
- You are NOT eligible for a Special Enrollment Period
If you are not certain about what kind of enrollment period you qualify for- or- if you need help planning for the Medicare enrollment for you, your spouse or parent please call us today toll-free 1-888-882-2909. We are happy to answer any questions and provide guidance for your unique situation.
Also see our helpful Medicare Articles below:
Seniors Advice on What to do When you hit the Donut Hole
3 Tools to Learn More about NH Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Plans
Stephen J. Donohue, Jr. is a Registered Health Underwriter who specializes in helping NH and MA Seniors make the best Medicare Supplement Insurance or Medicare Advantage Insurance decision.