Medicare Enrollment Help is Plentiful
October 13, 2016
“Open enrollment starts Oct. 15 for people who’ve signed up for Medicare benefits and must buy into or change their supplemental Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans.
The Medicare Rights Center in New York tells me that you can ‘make as many changes as you need during this period’ and that ‘only your last coverage choice will take effect Jan. 1.’
A long list of resources appears at the end of this blog to help Medicare beneficiaries through the enrollment process. But there’s a lot of hoopla around the Oct. 15-Dec. 7 enrollment period, so it’s important to know what Oct. 15 is not about.
One’s birthday – and not a date on the calendar – determines when people should initially enroll in the Medicare program. Most people turning 65 who are not covered by their own or their spouse’s employer health insurance at work are required to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B during a seven-month period that starts three months prior to their 65th birthday. During this seven-month window, new Medicare participants must also sign up for their Part D drug plans – or risk paying a lifelong penalty. Oct. 15 is not the trigger date for selecting Medigap plans either.”