As you approach the Medicare age, the option to enroll in the policies can be both exciting and daunting. Let’s face it, Medicare isn’t easy to navigate.
Because there are so many options (like Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medigap plans) you will likely need the help of a licensed agent to help you pick the policy that’s best for you.
The best part of using an agent, many agents don’t charge any fees to the beneficiary with Medicare enrollment into a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Part D drug card.
While navigating the health insurance process can be intimidating, we’ve boiled enrollment into 9 basics.
You can apply for Medicare early
You can apply for Medicare three months prior to your 65 birth month. For example, if you turn 65 in July, you can apply for Part A and Part B as soon as April 1. Your Medicare effective date will still be the first day of your 65 Birth Month. That means, if you turn 65 on July 16, then you can apply starting April 1, and your Medicare effective date will be on July 1.
You don’t have to enroll in Medicare
You do not have to take Medicare Part B if you are still working and have qualified Employer Group Health insurance. And you won’t face a penalty for staying on an Employer Group Insurance Plan.
When you can enroll in Medicare
There are two different types of enrollment periods. The Initial Enrollment Period is when you turn 65. There are also two special enrollment periods. A special window of time opens if you lose qualified employer group health insurance coverage. Another type of special enrollment period occurs if you move out of your service area.
Medicare open enrollment periods allow you to make coverage changes
You can only cover yourself, the beneficiary, under Medicare. The open enrollment dates are typically October 15 through December 7 each year.
This open enrollment enables beneficiaries to change their drug plan for the following year. Open enrollment is also used for individuals utilizing Medicare Advantage to change plans for January 1 or for those on Original Medicare to obtain Medicare Advantage coverage starting Jan 1.
We can help
At Benefit Concepts in Charleston, we help clients find health benefits for employees, health insurance benefits for small businesses, and health insurance for the individual. We can help you navigate Medicare through our staff which is dedicated to Medicare enrollment. Call us today.