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Important Dates to Know

Home / Medicare Basics / Important Dates to Know

All health insurance plans – whether it be an employer plan or a private plan or Medicare – have certain specified dates during which you can sign up for plans, make changes to plans, or leave plans. These dates are known as “enrollment periods”.

Outside of these enrollment periods, you must qualify for a Special Enrollment Period in order to make changes to your plan. Contact us to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and take advantage of enrolling in a new plan!

 

Initial Election Period (IEP): The period of time during which a person first becomes eligible for Medicare. The IEP typically refers to eligibility in Original Medicare, which is Part A and Part B. Most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65, however some others become eligible due to disability or illness. The IEP for people who “age in” to Medicare eligibility takes place 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday, the month of your 65th birthday, and the 3 months following the month of your 65th birthday (seven months total).

Medicare Supplement plans, also known as MediGap, also have an IEP which lasts 13 months. During the IEP is also the best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan because there is a Guaranteed Issue, also known as Guaranteed Acceptance period. During the Medicare Supplement IEP, you can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan without having to go through medical underwriting. In other words, during this time, you cannot be denied acceptance in a plan based on your health conditions. Contact My Medicare Partners for more information on IEP and and how to enroll in a Medicare Supplement without missing your Guaranteed Issue period!

Initial Enrollment Period

 

Guaranteed Acceptance for Medicare Supplement: 6 months before your 65 birthday + the month of your 65 birthday + 6 months after your 65 birthday (no medical questions to answer)

General Enrollment Period (GEP): If you miss your Initial Election Period, you may sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment period, which runs January 1 – March 31 of each year. Coverage will begin on July 1 for people who enroll during the General Enrollment period.

General Enrollment Period

 

Annual Election Period (for Part D and Medicare Advantage): Also known as Open Enrollment, takes place each year October 15 – December 7. Allows you to enroll in, or change, a Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan. These plans become effective January 1 of the following year.  (Pre-Open Enrollment: October 1 – October 14 allows you to preview the available plans)

Annual Election Period

 

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: Disenroll from Medicare Advantage, and return to Original Medicare and add a Drug Plan, during January 1 – February 14 of each year if you are unhappy with your plan. These changes become effective the first day of the following month.

 

You may also qualify for Special Enrollment Periods which allow you to make changes outside of the set dates, if you experience certain events in your life. Please contact us for more information and to see if you qualify for a special enrollment!Special Enrollment Period

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