Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods
Medicare Advantage enrollment periods occur during specific times of the year. The best coverage option for your health-care needs may be a different plan than your current plan.
Advantage Plans must offer the same coverage as Original Medicare; although, many MA plans provide extra benefits for enrollees.
Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage plans are policies sold by private insurance companies. MA plans are another option for receiving Medicare benefits. Policy availability varies depending on location.
There are annual opportunities for Medicare Advantage enrollment. Outside of the enrollment period, you may have to wait to join Advantage plans. Making changes to an Advantage plan requires an eligible enrollment period.
Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods: The Beginning
Upon turning 65, the Social Security Administration may automatically enroll you in Medicare Part A and/or Part B health-care coverage. Once this coverage has an effective date, enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is an option.
Imagine a health condition requires multiple prescriptions each month. Also, the total costs of medications aren’t affordable. Consider a prescription drug plan to help with out-of-pocket expenses.
Many Americans need routine eye, vision, or dental services. Paying for these services without health insurance can result in financial distress. Although, Medicare Advantage plans can replace Medicare and provide additional benefits.
Understanding the different Medicare Advantage enrollment periods gives you a better chance for great coverage. Once eligible for Medicare the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) begins. Everyone’s IEP is different; however, this is the earliest time a person can enroll.
Although, let’s say you don’t have “creditable drug coverage”, that can result in penalties. Credible coverage also includes any other drug plan that matches Medicare’s standards of coverage.
Since Traditional Medicare doesn’t cover the costs of prescription drugs, beneficiaries should consider enrolling in a Part D prescription drug plan. Part D helps with out-of-pocket expenses. Also, beneficiaries that don’t enroll receive a penalty upon enrollment.
Other Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods
The annual Fall Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is also known as the Medicare Annual Election Period. This is the second time-frame where beneficiaries may change or enroll in Medicare Advantage plans.
The AEP gives Medicare beneficiaries a second chance to adjust their plan. Beneficiaries can use the AEP to enroll, change, or disenroll in an Advantage plan. Also, Part D changes can be made during this time.
Changes made during AEP begin in January of the following year. Medicare Advantage plan enrollment during AEP of 2019 becomes active in January 2020. Additionally, the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is another chance beneficiaries can make changes.
Those with a Medicare Advantage drug plan can switch even if coverage options are different. Individuals leaving Advantage plans for Original Medicare may use OEP to join a Part D plan.
Changes are effective on the first day of the month following a change request. Changes made (during the OEP) on Feb 7th are effective March 1st.
Special Enrollment Circumstances
Depending on your situation, you may qualify for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Dates for any SEPs are not specific, they can happen at any time throughout the year. Qualifying reasons vary among patients.
Moving can qualify you for a SEP. Also, previous health insurance through an employer that is no longer available can qualify you for a SEP.
Pretend your Medicare Advantage plan’s contract with Medicare came to an end. You don’t want gaps in your health insurance coverage. Use the Special Enrollment Period to find a new plan to avoid coverage gaps.
Free Help Applying For Coverage
Get the ball rolling today by applying for Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan or other Medicare coverage options.
Signing up for Medicare online is easy, simply fill out our online rate comparison form. You may also visit your local Social Security or Medicare office. Call the number listed above to talk to one of our live agents today.
Our team of experts can provide you with quotes and suggest the best plan for your needs! We pride ourselves on helping you find the perfect plan for you. Let us help you along the way.