Medicare's Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is the seven month period surrounding your 65th birthday and when you should begin to look at Medicare options. Enrollment begins 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after.
- If you're not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you must sign up for Medicare Parts A and B. Otherwise you will be automatically enrolled. Most people get Part A without a monthly premium but do have to pay for Part B.
- Even if you don't plan to retire at age 65, you can still sign up for Medicare parts A and B during IEP and elect more coverage after retirement.
- If you plan to retire later than age 65, you can delay your Part B coverage. You may want to delay Part B coverage if you're paying for an employer-sponsored insurance plan.
Here's what each of the Medicare parts cover:
- Medicare Part A is hospital insurance.
- Medicare Part B is doctor's office insurance.
- Medicare Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage, are offered by private insurance companies and are approved by Medicare. A Medicare Advantage plan replaces Part A and B coverage.
- Medicare Pan D is Prescription Drug coverage.
You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement plan, also called Medigap. to help pay for healthcare cost Medicare Parts A and B don't cover, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductible. Several options are available. Let us help you find the right plan to best meet your needs.
If you are losing your employer health coverage you need to act now to ensure that you have coverage
For Medicare Advantage:
The window to enroll in Medicare Advantage is usually 2 months before loss of coverage and 2 months after.
For Medicare Supplement:
The window to enroll in Medicare Supplement is usually 60 days before the date of coverage loss and 63 days after for guaranteed issue.
I have Medicare Parts A & B, but no supplemental coverage
For Medicare Supplements, You can enroll ANY TIME or change plans ANYTIME
For Medicare Advantage plans, you may enroll during the Annual Election Period (AEP) which is normally from the beginning of October to the beginning of December.
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
For Medicare Advantage Plans and Plan D Prescription Drug Coverage Plans you can enroll or change plans once a year. This time period is early October to early December.