The importance of meeting enrollment deadlines
When it comes to subjects like Medicare, keeping up with important dates and deadlines can be difficult if you already have a lot on your plate. Each portion of Medicare has its own enrollment deadlines and it's important to keep up with the dead...
When it comes to subjects like Medicare, keeping up with important dates and deadlines can be difficult if you already have a lot on your plate.
Each portion of Medicare has its own enrollment deadlines and it’s important to keep up with the deadlines because you may be charged late fees if you don’t enroll on time.
Unless you get enrolled into Medicare Part A automatically due to health conditions or retirement status, your ability to enroll in Medicare begins three months prior to your 65th birthday and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
Essentially, you have a total of seven months to enroll in Medicare when you first become eligible.
If you don’t enroll during your initial enrollment period, you may be charged a penalty fee if you enroll later.
Penalty fees are assessed for as many months as you lacked Medicare coverage, and this sum can add up over time.
If you didn’t sign up for Part A and/or Part B (for which you pay a $104.90 monthly premium) when you were first eligible, and you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between Jan. 1–March 31 each year. Your coverage will start July 1.
If you’re covered under a group health plan based on current employment, you have a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B any time as long as you or your spouse (or family member if you’re disabled) is working, and you’re covered by a group health plan through the employer or union based on that work.
You have an 8-month Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B that starts the month after the employment ends or the group health plan insurance based on current employment ends, whichever happens first.
Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, or Medicare Part C during the seven months surrounding your 65th birthday. In these plans, you get the benefits of Medicare Parts A, B and D at once.
There is a general enrollment from April 1 through June 30.
From Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or make other modifications to your coverage. From Jan. 1 through Feb. 14, you can dis-enroll from Medicare Advantage and return to original Medicare.
If you decide not to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage, or you don’t get Extra Help, you’ll likely pay a 1 percent late enrollment penalty. This is an ongoing penalty
Supplemental or medigap insurance helps pay for medical care and services that Medicare Parts A and B don’t cover.
If you enroll during your six-month initial enrollment period, then you can choose any plan that an insurer offers without getting denied coverage for medical conditions or other issues.
Why do these deadlines matter? As mentioned above, you could be charged late enrollment penalties for enrolling after your initial enrollment period.
This article is made possible with Older Americans Act dollars from the Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging. Call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 to speak with an information specialist, or check out our website at MinnesotaHelp.info . MinnesotaHelp.info is an online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota find human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and other forms of help.