Initial Enrollment Period:
Enrollment into Medicare Part B (outpatient Medicare coverage) is called the “Initial Enrollment Period” which starts 3 months prior to you 65th birthday and lasts for 7 months, except in certain cases. This is the time you will notify the Social Security Administration (800-772-1213) and ask to be enrolled in Medicare Part B sometime during the 7 month window.
General Enrollment Period:
If you do not enroll during the Initial Enrollment period, you will have to wait for the next “General Enrollment Period,” which generally runs every year form January 1 through March 31. If you sign up during the General Election Period your Part B coverage will be effective on the following July 1st. Also, your Part B premium may be increased 10% for each 12 month period you did not choose to enroll in Part B coverage.
Can you delay Part B enrollment?
Yes, if you or your spouse are working and have employer group health insurance, or a union plan, you do not have to enroll in Medicare Part B coverage. You can enroll in Part B coverage anytime during your group health coverage, or wait until it is cancelled before you enroll in Medicare B.
Is Medicare primary or my group health plan?
If your employer has less than 20 employees, Medicare becomes the primary insurer and your group health plan is secondary. That is, of course, if you are enrolled in both. If the employer has 20 or more employees the group health plan becomes primary coverage with Medicare as the secondary coverage.
Part D Rx Plans:
Medicare Part D Rx plans also have different enrollment dates such as the Initial Enrollment, which works the same as above, your Medicare B enrollment. Part D has annual enrollment which is typically October 15 through December 7 each year, with a January 1 effective date.
Also, Special Enrollment periods, which allow you to enroll or switch plans during the year because of special circumstances. To learn more about the Part D enrollment periods Click Here.
Medicare Advantage Start Dates …
The Medicare Advantage enrollment dates are similar to the Part D Rx start dates mentioned above.
Medicare Supplement Guaranteed Issue options …
If you are looking into a Medicare Supplement plan for yourself or family member, there are many times and situations which allow for “guarantee-issue” regardless of health status. To view the guarantee-issue options, Click Here.
As you can see there are many different enrollment periods regarding Medicare, the Medicare Prescription Drug plan, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans. Please feel free to contact me anytime, I will be happy to answer all of your questions.
Please call anytime with questions.