Here are the important dates to remember when it comes to Medicare and making changes to your policy and coverage.
In most states there are only certain times when you can change your policy.
If you are on Traditional Medicare and a Supplemental policy, you can switch Supplemental plans anytime throughout the year. The only caveat to making the change is you will have to answer health questions, in most circumstances, if you have been on Medicare for more than six months. Some states have certain rules, therefore, if you have questions please let me know.
Three months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and three months after you turn 65 is known as your Initial Enrollment Period. This is the time when you can enroll in Medicare and decide what you want for coverage to either Supplement your Medicare or choose a plan to replace your Medicare for the calendar year.
October 15th-December 7th. This is known as the Annual Enrollment Period or AEP. This is the time where you can change your Medicare Advantage Plan or Drug Plan. You can make this change as often as you like but the last policy in will be the one you have for the following year. You can also switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Traditional Medicare and a Supplement, please remember health questions may have to be answered. You can also switch from a Supplement to Medicare Advantage plan without answering health questions. If you decide to go this route, please think long and hard before you make the switch. This is especially important!
January 1st-March 31st. This is known as the Open Enrollment Period or OEP. This is the time where you can switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to another Advantage plan or back to Traditional Medicare with a Supplement, again you may have to answer health questions for the Supplemental plan. You cannot change your drug plan; you are stuck with that one for the year!
January 1st-March 31st. This is also known as the General Enrollment Period. This is the time when you can enroll in Part B if you have not already done so. If you delayed enrollment in Part B and had no other credible coverage, i.e. employer coverage, then you can enroll at this time. Your Part B will start on July 1st of that year.
I hope this clears some confusion on the dates and when you can do things. Some states have different dates, this is just a general idea for most states.
As always, do something nice for someone today just because.
All the best,
Randall J. Lawson
The HgO Group
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