Medicare Enrollment

Medicare Enrollment

If you are becoming eligible for Medicare, it is important to know how the enrollment process works, and this includes understanding the different enrollment periods. While it can be a confusing process to understand each one, the agents with Eldridge Agency in Reno, NV, are here to help.

Initial Enrollment Period

The best time for you to enroll for Medicare is typically during the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after. It is the best time because, during this period, you will avoid permanent penalties and late fees. Besides enrolling in Original Medicare (Part A and B), you can also enroll in Part D during this period if you are in need of prescription drug coverage.

If you are interested in a Medicare Supplement plan, you can choose one during your six-month Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins as soon as you are enrolled in Original Medicare and are 65. Applying during this period means that insurers cannot deny you coverage or charge you extra for premiums.

If you wait to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan and miss this period, you will not have a guaranteed right to a plan. Insurers can turn you down or charge you extra based on your medical history.

Medicare Special Enrollment

If you missed your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you may have the option to enroll through a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) without facing late enrollment penalties. However, in order to enroll through a SEP, you must first qualify for it. To qualify, you must:

  • Have moved out of your plan’s service area and now need a new plan and coverage.
  • Have lost your current coverage.
  • Have been insured with other coverage during the time of what would have been your Initial Enrollment Period.
  • Have a plan that changed its contract with Medicare.
  • Have a chance to enroll in other coverage.

Annual Enrollment Period

The Annual Enrollment Period is another type of Medicare enrollment period that occurs from October 15 through December 7 every year. One of the great things about this period is that it allows you to review your current Medicare coverage to determine if any changes were made to the coverage or cost. If changes were made and the plan no longer fits your needs, you can use this period to switch to a new plan that does.

You can:

  • Change your Original Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage Plan, and vice versa.
  • Change your Advantage Plan to another Advantage Plan.
  • Change, drop, or enroll in a Part D plan.

Whatever plan changes you made will become effective on January 1.

General Enrollment Period

The General Enrollment Period starts on January 1 and ends on March 31 every year. For those who missed their Initial Enrollment Period and did not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period can use this period to enroll in Original Medicare. Your coverage will start on July 1.

If you are looking to learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods and when the best time for you to enroll would be, contact Eldridge Insurance Agency at (775) 328-1197.