Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment for 2018 begins the day you turn 65 and are enrolled in Part B. About 10,000 people enroll in Medicare every day, and if enrollment is on the horizon for you, it’s a good idea to know when you can sign up, and when switching Medigap policies is permitted. We’ve assembled this quick guide to help you keep track.
I’m turning 65, When Can I First Enroll in Medicare
The months around your 65th birthday are your first opportunity to enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, C and D.
Part A and B are often referred to as “Original Medicare.”
Medicare Advantage Part C is private insurance that provides the same benefits as Parts A and B and may also cover prescription drugs.
Prescription drug plans, Part D, is for people who have Original Medicare. Or for those whose Medicare Advantage plans do not cover prescriptions.
The initial 7-month enrollment period for all of these plans begins 3 months before the month you turn 65. Ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.
What if I Didn’t Enroll in Medicare When I Turned 65
All four Medicare parts have yearly Open Enrollment Periods. During this time anyone can sign up, though you may pay late enrollment penalties if you didn’t enroll when you turned 65. In addition, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
- For Parts A and B, the general Enrollment Period is from January 1 to March 31.
- For Parts C and D, the Open Enrollment Period is from October 15-December 7.
- If you or your spouse is working and you’re covered by an employer sponsored health plan, you qualify for Medicare Special Enrollment Period. You can sign up for Medicare anytime, but your Special Enrollment Period ends 8 months after the employment or group health coverage ends. You won’t usually pay a late enrollment penalty during a Special Enrollment Period.
Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment for 2018
Medigap plans are standardized insurance plans offered by private insurance companies. Policies pay medical and hospital costs that Original Medicare does not cover. You must have Original Medicare to enroll.
The six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period for 2018 begins on the first day of the month you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
During this Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, insurers cannot turn you down or charge you a higher rate because of preexisting health conditions.
If you don’t enroll during this initial period, you can still apply for coverage anytime. However, you may be denied or may pay a higher premium because of your age or health history.
Dates if I Want to Change my Medicare Coverage
You can change your Medicare coverage, but your enrollment dates will depend on the changes you want to make.
- For Medicare Advantage and Medicare Drug Plans, the annual Open Enrollment Period is from October 15-Dec. 7. During this time, you can:
- Enroll in, change or discontinue your prescription drug coverage
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
- Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
- For Medigap Open Enrollment, enrollees are able to change policies any time, but the application must be approved
Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Deadline
If you missed your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Deadline, you can still apply anytime.
However, you’ll most likely be required to go through medical underwriting and are not guaranteed coverage.
Free Medicare Supplement Information
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Our friendly representatives will give you a fast, free quote and answer all your questions, so you can choose the policy that’s right for your health needs and your budget.
Contact us today for a free Medicare Supplement information by calling the number above or completing our online compare rates form now.