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If you’re about to become Medicare eligible, you need to make some decisions about your health care coverage. This is because if you wait to enroll until after the initial Medicare enrollment period, you may have to pay a penalty and there may be a gap in your coverage.
There are five main Medicare enrollment periods; Initial Enrollment Period (IEP; for those just turning 65), General Enrollment Period (GEP; for those who did not enroll during IEP), Special Enrollment Period (SEP; for those who had previous health insurance from an employer but now require Medicare Part B), Annual Enrollment Period (AEP; once a year, all individuals on Medicare can re-enroll and change their plans), and Open Enrollment Period (OEP; strictly for those on a Medicare Advantage Plan).
Once you’ve decided what parts of Medicare you would like to enroll in, it’s time to figure out when your plan’s enrollment period is. If you need any assistance in deciding which parts of Medicare to enroll in, give us a call. We're experts in affordable health insurance in the St. Louis area.
If you need help understanding when you enrollment period is and how you can sign up for a policy or plan, give us a call and we can determine your enrollment period for you!
If you miss your initial enrollment period, there are a few penalties you’ll face. However, these only apply if you do not have any other coverage, such as employer coverage.
The penalties are as follows:
Many people work beyond age 65 and would like to continue their employer coverage instead of signing up for Medicare. This is fine and you will not be penalized. When you do retire, you will be able to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period.
This enrollment period is eight months long that begins either the month you or your spouse quits working or the month your group coverage ends, whichever comes first.
Once you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, there is a six-month open enrollment period for Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plans. This window begins with your Part B effective date and is a one-time election period.
Your initial Medicare enrollment period begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after your 65th birthday month.
This happens with one exception: if your birthday is on the first of the month. This will cause your enrollment period to begin one month early. For example: if your birthday is October 1, your enrollment period will begin June 1 and your Medicare will begin one month early as well — September 1.
Need help determining your Initial Enrollment Period? Find out today!
The General Enrollment Period is there for if you miss your Initial Medicare Enrollment Period, you are able to sign up during Medicare’s General Enrollment Period (January 1–March 31), and your coverage will start July 1.
Do you qualify for General Enrollment Period? Find out today!
There are a couple situations that allow you to enroll into Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period.
As discussed above, if you work beyond age 65 and have employer-provided health coverage that you would like to continue instead of Medicare, you are allowed to delay enrollment without penalty.
Another example would be if you move outside of a plan’s service area. This would trigger a two-month enrollment period in which you could switch to a new Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan. You could also return to Original Medicare without penalty. Sometimes, you can also enroll into Medigap.
There are other unique situations in which you may also be eligible for a special enrollment period. You are welcome to contact us to learn what options are available for you. We are experts in the Medicare enrollment periods and affordable health insurance in St. Louis.
Need help determining if you qualify for a special enrollment period? Give us a call today and we can determine for you!
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period – AEP for short – is a set time each year for changing your Medicare coverage choices if you choose to. AEP runs from October 15 to December 7. New coverage choices go into effect on January 1.
Medicare AEP is a time for you to reevaluate your current coverage and make changes as need be.
The changes you can make during AEP depend on your current coverage. Check your medicare enrollment situation below for a run-down on what you can do.
Not sure about which plan to choose during Annual Enrollment? Give us a call and we can help to determine which plan best fits your situation!
Each year, there’s a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 – March 31.
During this time, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to change your health plan, you can do one of these:
If you switch Medicare Advantage Plans or go back to Original Medicare with or without a Medicare drug plan, your new coverage will start the first day of the month after your new plan gets your request for coverage.
Keep in mind, if you go back to Original Medicare now, you may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.
Need help deciding which plan to switch to or if you need changes on your current plan? Give us a call and we can help!
We would love to chat with you about your Medicare coverage. Please send us an email or give us a call and one of our local agents will follow up with you soon!
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*Calling the number above will direct you to a licensed insurance agent. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance products. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. Not affiliated with or endorsed by the government or federal Medicare program.
We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.