What should I know about my Initial Medicare Enrollment Period?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 and older, and certain younger people with disabilities or end-stage renal disease. Most people will enroll in Medicare around their 65th birthday. This is called your “Initial Enrollment Period.” It spans your birth month, plus the three months before and after. You enroll for Medicare through a local Social Security Office. For help understanding the steps to take, and when — as there are penalties for late enrollment — feel free to call us.
What can I do in the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?
Individuals eligible or enrolled in Medicare can change their insurance plan each year. This year’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins October 15 and ends December 7. It’s an ideal time to consider whether your needs are being met under your existing plan.
During this time, ask yourself:
Use the Annual Enrollment Period to make changes to your plan, or switch from Original Medicare to an all-in-one Medicare Advantage plan. At Intermountain Health, we can connect you with a licensed insurance agent who can help you understand your options without bias.
What are the Special Enrollment Periods?
If you are approaching age 65, have recently relocated to a new area, have experienced a recent change in your healthcare needs or in certain other situations, you may be able to enroll or make changes in your Medicare coverage outside the annual enrollment period.
We’re here to help ensure you have the right coverage for your health needs and your budget. If you’re unsure whether you qualify for Medicare enrollment during a special enrollment period, we can connect you to a licensed insurance agent and other Medicare resources who can help answer your enrollment questions.
Which of the following applies to you?
Whether you’re ready to retire or still on the job, it’s time to explore your Medicare options.
Did you recently relocate?
A recent move, even from a different county, may mean you need to change your Medicare Advantage plan.
Do you have chronic conditions?
If you are affected by one of the following conditions, you may be eligible for Medicare coverage even if you are under 65 years of age:
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
Visit the Medicare website for a current list of conditions that may qualify you for a Medicare Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan by clicking here. Medicare Chronic Condition Special Needs Plans are specially tailored to provide eligible individuals with access to qualified specialists prepared to meet their unique needs, provide clinical case management programs, and a host of other tailored benefits — like personalized nutritional guidance and care coordination services.
In addition, some Medicare Chronic Condition Special Needs Plans feature benefits that help you save money on the care necessary to manage your chronic condition. This includes coverage for your prescription drugs.
How does the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) work?
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may also make certain changes during the annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Intermountain Health wants to help you understand your options during this time, which occurs January 1 through March 31.
During the OEP, you may make these changes:
- Switch to another Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage)
- Dis-enroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare
You may not make the following changes:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan if you’re on Original Medicare
You can only make one change during this period. Changes will take effect the first of the month after the plan receives your request.
Any other questions?
We’re here to help make things simpler. You can attend a no-cost, educational event in your area to get the facts you need to make smart healthcare decisions. Or talk with an Intermountain Health team member today.
Become a patient. It’s easy!
Call 702-623-9213 today.