Transitioning to Medicare? Here's how it's done.
If you're about to turn 65 and have questions about transitioning to Medicare, you've come to the right place.
We understand how confusing this all can be. There's an initial enrollment period, annual election period, special enrollment period, and so much jargon.
Don't worry. We're going to clear things up.
After your initial enrollment, there are only a few times per year you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.
But first, let's discuss your initial enrollment period.
For most, your initial enrollment period begins three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after.
If your birthday is on the first your enrollment period will begin one month early.
So, for example, if your birthday is July 1 your initial enrollment period will begin on March 1. You’ll enroll online or contact Social Security for Medicare Part A and B.
If you are eligible for Medicare because you are already getting benefits from Social Security, you’ll get Medicare Part A and Part B automatically when you first become eligible and don’t need to sign up.
Once you've become enrolled, there are only a few ways you can make changes to your coverage:
Annual election period — Every year you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, switch Medicare Part D plans or enroll in one if you didn't when you were first eligible, or drop these plans. It begins October 15 and ends December 7.
Special enrollment period — If you have a significant life event that causes a loss of coverage or causes a need to increase coverage, it likely triggers a special enrollment period. A few examples: unintentional loss of coverage, moved outside of your current plan's service area, got married, or had a baby.
Medicare supplement open enrollment — If you're interested in this kind of coverage, there is an open enrollment period that lasts six months after the day you have been enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. During this time, you can enroll in a supplement plan without any health questions. You can enroll in a supplement plan at any time after this open enrollment period too, but you'll be subject to medical underwriting.
Medicare for those with low income
There are options available for those with low income to help pay for healthcare costs:
Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan — This plan is designed for those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Can have a premium as low as $0.
Extra Help — This is a federal program that helps pay for the cost of your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Savings Programs — This is a government program that helps cover Medicare costs.
Medicaid — If you have very low income with little assets, Medicaid can help pay your Medicare costs and healthcare that Medicare doesn't cover.
Need help picking your coverage?
Would you feel more comfortable discussing your coverage options with an expert? That's what we're here for! Our help doesn't cost a dime and won't increase your premium at all. We take pride in helping people save money and get the coverage they need. Give us a call at (423) 240-0794 or you can click here to send us a message.