Medicare Open Enrollment – What You Need to Know
Congratulations! You’ve qualified for Medicare and are enrolled in the program. Now it’s time to look at some of the options for supplemental Medicare coverage.
What is Medicare Open Enrollment?
- Medicare Open Enrollment occurs every year, from October 15th – December 7th.
- It’s the time when you can change your existing supplemental Medicare coverage, either switching, adding or deleting products.
- During Open Enrollment, you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, known as Medicare Part C. This coverage supplements traditional Medicare Parts A & B (inpatient and outpatient standard coverage). You can also add or switch Medicare Part D (prescription drug) coverage.
- Currently enrolled Medicare beneficiaries, including those under 65 on disability. *
*Initial Medicare enrollment is 7 months long, including the 3 months prior to your 65th birthday month, your 65th birthday month, and the 3 months following your 65th birthday month. You are also eligible for Medicare if you’ve been receiving disability benefits for 24 consecutive months. In either case, you’ll be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
What Changes Can I Make During Open Enrollment?
- You can change any of your supplemental coverage
- You can drop coverage that you don’t need, based on your experience in the prior year.
Where Can I Get Help If I Have Questions?
There are a number of knowledgeable people who can help answer your questions about your Medicare coverage.
- Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups offers free Medicare Open Enrollment counseling services through independent Medicare consultants, Caress Insurance Agency. They can provide you with specific information about plans and can even set up individual in-person counseling sessions to review your coverage. Contact them today at (888) 542-1026.
- Medicare Website – www.medicare.gov – This website has checklists, information and instructions to get you started with Medicare and Open Enrollment. You can sign up for www.MyMedicare.gov to access your personal Medicare information. Medicare & You is a free handbook that’s available online or in a hard copy version that can be mailed to your home.
- Insurance Providers for the Part C and Part D plans must send out annual notifications to you outlining any changes in your plan’s costs, benefits, or rules for the upcoming year. You can use this information to compare the costs and benefits of your current plan against other plans.
- Non-Profit Organizations advocating on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries are available to help you. My Medicare Matters is one non-profit that provides a friendly, easy-to-use website with valuable information.
Ready to find the right plan for you?
Caress Insurance Agency, Inc has local agents who are ready to help you find a plan that best fits your needs and budget. We work with Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups to help answer your Medicare questions.