When and How To Enroll For Medicare
The Medicare Annual Election Period, also known as the “Open Enrollment” period is when you can enroll in Medicare Part A and B without penalty. It’s important to know that if you fail to enroll during this time, then your coverage will be delayed by 2-3 months. The best time to enroll in Medicare is during your Initial Enrollment Period.
This way, you don’t have to worry about your health coverage during the following year.
This is a good time to either enroll in Part B if you haven’t already or switch from one plan to another depending on how much it will cost and whether or not they offer benefits that are important for you. Medicare has five different parts: A, B, C, D, and F so be sure to carefully review each of them and what services they cover before making a decision on which plan would work best for your needs.
Your Open Enrollment Period begins three months prior until three months after your 65th birthday while some Special Needs Plans may start as early as six months before turning age 65 (or 30 days after becoming eligible). For example, if someone turned 65 in January, then the Open Enrollment Period would start in October and run until December.
Just be sure to enroll during this time so you don’t have any issues when it comes to your health coverage starting on their effective date, which is July or August of the following year.
During the Annual Election Period each year: you can change plans without having a reason up until Dec 15th; Medicare will accept changes for all others from Jan-Apr 30th (and we recommend that everyone review their needs at least twice per year); Coverage begins July 01st (or Aug depending on what option they choose).