Note that you can join a health or drug plan under Medicare when you first get Medicare (initial enrollment periods for Part C & D), such as when you turn age 65. Each year, you have a chance to make changes to your Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year. There are 2 separate enrollment periods each year. According to the Medicare website:
Video: 2012 Medicare Part D Annual Enrollment Period
Navigating Medicare's Open Enrollment Period
Medicare beneficiaries who are happy with their plans do not need to do anything, if they don’t want to change. But it is still a good idea to check options, Ms. Metcalf advises, to make sure a version of Medicare is the best one in terms of cost and coverage. If, for instance, you have the original version of Medicare and pay extra for prescription drug coverage (so-called Part D coverage), you may want to make sure important medications you need are still covered under your plan, to avoid having to pay more for them.
With 3 days left in Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, what can you do to save money on Medicare in 2013?
When we looked at the customers who used PlanPrescriber.com during the first three weeks of this year’s AEP, we found that only 8% were in the Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan (MAPD) plan with the lowest total out-of-pocket costs available to them.
Medicare Extends Enrollment Period For Those Affected By Sandy
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “understands that many Medicare beneficiaries have been affected by this disaster and wants to ensure that all beneficiaries are able to compare their options and make enrollment choices for 2013,” Arrah Tabe-Bedward, acting director for the Medicare Enrollment and Appeals Group, wrote in a Nov. 7 letter to health insurance companies and State Health Insurance Assistance Programs.
Deadline looms for Medicare enrollment
The Medicare Advantage disenrollment period runs Jan. 1 to Feb. 14. During that time you can leave your Medicare Advantage Plan to switch to original Medicare. If you switch to original Medicare during this period, you’ll have until Feb. 14 to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to add drug coverage. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan gets your enrollment form. However, during this period, you cannot switch from original Medicare to an advantage plan or from one advantage plan to another; join, switch or drop a Medicare medical savings account; or change the prescription drug plan.
Do You Know What Your Initial Enrollment Period Is For Medicare Supplement?
Medicare Supplement insurance is designed to pay some, or all, of the bills that Medicare A & B does not. Although you will be able to buy a Medicare Supplement policy at any time, assuming that you can medically qualify, those who have pre-existing conditions or just do not want to fool with the limits of Medicare will need to act within their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
Medicare 102: Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods
The Key word here is “SPECIAL.” If you have a special circumstance, such as moving out of a plan’s service area, or an involuntary loss of employer coverage because you are retiring at the age of 65 or older, than you may qualify for an SEP. There are many other circumstances which may make you eligible for an SEP. The length of the SEP can vary based on the circumstance. If you have enrolled into an Advantage Plan for the first time in your life during ICEP, or have dropped a Medigap policy to go into an Advantage Plan for the first time in your life, you have an SEP which lasts for the first 12 months of your enrollment in the Advantage Plan. This allows you to revert back to Original Medicare, enroll into a Medigap policy without being underwritten (though you may be subject to a higher premium due to age), and purchase a prescription drug plan.
Put it on your fall checklist: Medicare Open Enrollment
If your parents want to go online and sort through the details, they can get an early start, and you can help them navigate the process if needed. We’ve already made sure that the Medicare Plan Finder is fully updated with all new 2013 cost and benefit information for health and drug plans and is ready right now. All your parents need to do is start by entering the drugs and checking on the doctors and pharmacies they want to use. A few more steps will get them a personalized list of their plan choices and help them compare.