This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own.
Ahhh….one of the many joys of midlife is helping your family and friends over 65 with their annual Medicare enrollment. I’ve navigated this process with my mom and step-dad as well as with both of my in-laws. I’ve compiled a few Medicare Annual Enrollment tips in hopes your process may be a bit easier.
When is the Medicare Annual Enrollment period?
The Medicare Annual Enrollment period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th each year you are eligible for the coverage. You will become eligible for Medicare coverage seven months before you turn age 65 up until three months after your 65th birthday. Once enrolled in a Medicare plan you will be required to renew it annually during the period designated by the federal government.
You may be eligible for benefits before age 65 if you have a disability. You will have to check with the Social Security Administration to determine your eligibility.
What kind of Medicare coverage am I enrolling for?
During the open enrollment time period an eligible person will be able to enroll in a Medicare for the first time, drop a current plan, or switch to new plans. This goes for Original Medicare (Parts A and B), along with Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans). It’s a lot! Thankfully, there are services that can help you and help find answers to questions.
Annual enrollment tips
Ask for help
My in-laws have some complicated medical issues so we’ve always had to ask a lot of questions. Both of them are in their 80’s and each year we still need a little bit of assistance to ensure we make the right decisions. Visit SeniorLiving.Org for answers to common questions. Call the toll-free number at the top of the page for direct questions and a free no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Don’t ignore deadlines
This is a biggie. You can be fined for late enrollment and no one wants that to happen. During the year of your 65th birthday is when you need to sign up. Don’t miss out on the benefits you earned and don’t end up paying the government fine money due to lack of enrollment.
Persons eligible for Medicare will start receiving information packets, phone calls and even text messages months before the enrollment period begins. Make sure you warn your loved ones that there are scammers. Offer to help them contact a trained professional to ensure you get they enroll in the right Medicare plans.
Be aware that coverage and plans change often
This is something we also learned the hard way. We just assumed the previous years coverage would remain in effect if we chose the same plan and same insurance carrier. Wrong. Do the research and ask those important questions. A QuoteManage expert can walk you through these changes and help determine if your plan is still right for your needs. If it’s not, they can help you switch to a new plan to better fit your budget and health needs.
Original Medicare does not include prescription coverage
Another misconception my family had was that Prescription drug coverage is automatically included with Medicare. Not true. Drug coverage is a completely separate Medicare plan. Medicare Part D involves prescriptions and that is a supplemental insurance. If you miss the annual enrollment period you could jeopardize your prescription drug coverage.
Ask for help again – Once you think you have everything figured out and all of the boxes checked correctly, ask for help again. Trained professionals can assist you in ensuring the right coverage is in place. Visit SeniorLiving.Org for answers to common questions. Call the 800 number at the top of the page to speak directly with a QuoteManage expert and get your free no-obligation consultation. There is no shame in asking for help to get through the steps of the Medicare Annual Enrollment process.
I hope a few of these Medicare enrollment tips we’ve learned over the years, help you or someone you know find the best coverage they need during open enrollment. Talking to experts has definitely helped our family save time and help in the Medicare coverage decision making process.