Understanding the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Understanding the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

If you are new to Medicare, you may have a lot of inquiries about Medicare enrollment and how it works. National Insurance Associates, Inc. has compiled the following details to help you understand Medicare enrollment better.

When You Are New to Medicare

When you are first eligible for Medicare, you are enrolling in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Original Medicare is the government-run healthcare program for individuals aged 65 years old and above. Certain individuals may qualify by disability or having ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or end-stage renal disease.

In some cases, you may be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. In others, you may have to sign up for it.

Enrollment for Original Medicare

When you turn 65 years old, you may be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B if you are receiving retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. If you are automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, your benefits will begin on the first day of the month that you are eligible for coverage.

For instance, if your 65th birthday is on October 20, 2019, and you are automatically qualified for Medicare, the effective date for your Medicare will be on October 1, 2019. If your birthday falls on the first day of the month, your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage will be effective on the first day of the previous month. So, if your 65th birthday falls on September 1, your Medicare effective date would be August 1.

When you turn 65 years old and don’t receive retirement benefits, you won’t be eligible for automatic Medicare enrollment. You will need to sign up for coverage during your initial enrollment period.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins on October 15 until December 7. Your new coverage will start on January 1 of the following year (as long as your request is accepted by December 7). Generally, patients are required to remain enrolled for the particular calendar year.

During the annual enrollment period, you can modify various aspects of your coverage. This includes:

  • Switching from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (or vice versa).
  • Switching from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You may also switch from one Medicare Part D plan to another.
  • If you didn’t enroll in the Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can enroll during the general open enrollment period but late enrollment penalties may apply.

Learn More

If you wish to learn more about Medicare’s enrollment periods for other circumstances, such as Special Enrollment Periods, Medicare enrollment if you’re disabled, and more, our seasoned national insurance associates in High Point, North Carolina can help you.

We can also help with your financial security concerns and other insurance services that are part of our services.

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