Have you been thinking about signing up for Medicare? Or changing your current Medicare plan? If so, you have probably also found yourself wondering when you can do this. Understanding when you can enroll and the best time to do so is an integral part of getting your Medicare plan.
There are two times when you can enroll for Medicare- the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and the Annual Election Period (AEP). The IEP is for individuals are signing up for Medicare for the first time. AEP, also known as open enrollment, is the time for switching plans.
Initial Enrollment Period
Most people know you qualify for Medicare when you turn 65, but many do not know when the exact enrollment period is or what their options are. The initial enrollment period is a total of 7 months- your birth month, 3 months before, and 3 months after. While you can apply early, the earliest your coverage can start is your birthday month. During this period you can apply for Medicare parts A, B, C, and D. If you miss your initial enrollment period there is a special enrollment available for certain circumstances, or you can apply during the general enrollment period between January 1st and March 31st.
Open Enrollment Period
Open Enrollment takes place during the fall, between October 15th and December 7th, with coverage starting January 1 of the following year. This time period is when you can change your Medicare to a different plan such as Medicare Advantage or Medigap. Open enrollment options include but are not limited to:
Medicare Parts A & B can switch to a Part C plan
Medicare Part C can switch back to Parts A & B
Join, drop, or switch a Part D prescription drug plan
Medicare Part C can switch to a new Part C plan
If you’re looking to switch medicare plans, visit our quote page and get a Free Medicare Quote Instantly