A

I ONLY HAVE ORIGINAL MEDICARE

(also known as Medicare Parts A and B)

If you are still in your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you can now:

  • Enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (also known as a Part D Plan)
  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as a Part C Plan)

OR you can:

  • Wait until the Annual Election Period (AEP) to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as a Part C Plan)
  • Enroll in a Medigap plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period

If you already had Medicare Part A and you enrolled in Medicare Part B during the General Enrollment Period (GEP), you can:

  • Sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan (also known as a Part C Plan) between April 1 – June 30th (some exclusions apply)
  • Add a Prescription Drug Plan (also known as a Part D Plan) Between April 1 – June 30th (though you may incur a financial penalty for not enrolling your Part D plan during your Initial Enrollment Period).
  • Enroll in a Medigap plan during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period

Under certain circumstances, you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and enroll in a Medigap policy. Some examples that qualify you for Special Enrollment are:

  • Your employer coverage is ending
  • You have a Medicare SELECT plan and you move out the of the SELECT plans service area

Please contact us if you think you may qualify for special circumstances to enroll in a Medigap policy. In many of these cases, you have a limited time frame for enrollment.

Annual Election Period (AEP)

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is from October 15th – December 7th every year.

Changes to Medicare plans made during this time will take effect on January 1st of the following year. For example, changes made in November of 2019 will take place January 1st of 2020.

Medigap Open Enrollment Period

The Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a one-time 6-month period. This time frame begins the first month of your Medicare Part B coverage. Some states may have additional Open Enrollment rights under state law.

If you apply for a Medigap plan during this time, you are guaranteed acceptance and the plan can’t charge more based on your health conditions. To enroll in a Medigap plan, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Prescription Drug Plan

It is a requirement for every Medicare-eligible person to have a Prescription Drug Plan (also called a Part D Plan). Failing to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan during your Initial Enrollment Period could lead to higher premiums if you need to add a Part D plan at a later time.

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

The first time you can enroll is called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is a 7-month time frame. It begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. For example, if you’re 65th birthday was in the month of May, you would be eligible to enroll February 1 – August 31st.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) allows you to enroll in Medicare plans outside of your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and the General Enrollment Period (GEP).

Medigap

Medigap plans, also called Medicare Supplement Plans, provide extra insurance that help you pay your Medicare Parts A and B out-of-pocket costs, which are “gaps” in medical coverage.

Medicare Advantage Plan

Private carriers offer Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage Plans, which offer all the benefits covered under Original Medicare (parts A and B) and more.

General Enrollment Period (GEP)

The General Enrollment Period (GEP) is for Medicare-eligible individuals who did not sign up during their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) which is based on birthdate. The General Enrollment Period is from January 1 – March 31st every year. Coverage for individuals who enroll during the GEP will begin on July 1st of that year.

Unfortunately, most individuals who miss the IEP and sign up during the General Enrollment Period will face late-enrollment penalties.