If you’re 65 years old, about to be 65 years old, or if you know somebody who is, here’s a message for you: Don’t wait to sign up for, or change, Medicare insurance plans - poor planning, procrastination and missed deadlines expedite the aging process!
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is October 15th through December 7th, and it’s time to make decisions about your future now - changes made during this period will take effect January 1st of next year.
Here’s a brief overview of some upcoming deadlines:
- Part A, B, D – Enrollment begins 3 months before and up to three months after you turn 65.
- Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) – Medigap open enrollment lasts 6 months and begins when 1) You are 65 or older 2) Have enrolled in Medicare.
- Working past age 65 – You must enroll within 8 months of being unemployed or dropping your health plan.
What each part means:
Part A – Hospital insurance: Covers inpatient care, hospice, home health and skilled nursing care.
Part B – Medical insurance: Covers outpatient care, preventative services and medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers.
Part D – Prescription drug coverage
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) – Covers some of Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements and services not covered by Medicare.
Why you should take advantage of this enrollment period:
- Possibility of upgrading or downgrading plans (Medicare Advantage versus Original)
- Opportunity to reevaluate or change Part D
- Peace of mind knowing that you do not have to rely on COBRA or job security in order to be covered by insurance.
Good to know:
- The general enrollment period for Medicare is between January 1st and March 31st
- During the general enrollment period, coverage kicks in one month post-enrollment.
- You can apply for Medicare even if you are already covered elsewhere.