When To Sign Up For Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage

Introduction

Many seniors who are eligible for Original Medicare may find Medicare Advantage to be a terrific option. Still, first-time enrollees may find the options and plan limitations bewildering at specific points during the year. 

Instead of calling the new plan, it is typically preferable to enroll in a plan by dialing 1-800-MEDICARE. You must have Medicare Parts A and B coverage to enroll in an MA Plan. Medicare Advantage enrollment is usually permitted during the following times:

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

During these seven months, including the month, you can sign up for Medicare anytime. Depending on when you sign up, your Medicare Advantage will start on a specific date.

  • If you sign up within the first three months of your IEP, your coverage will start in the month that you first qualify for Medicare.
  • If you sign up in the fourth month of your IEP, coverage will start in the month after that.
  • Your coverage will start the second month after enrolling if you do so in the fifth month of your IEP.
  • The third month after you enroll if you do so in the sixth or seventh month of your IEP.

Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs)

There are times outside the regular enrollment periods called Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) when you can sign up for health insurance. Particular events generally bring them on.

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The Part B SEP begins when you have job-based insurance from your present employment and are in your first month of Part B eligibility. It expires eight months after you stop receiving coverage from your current job due to the termination of your employment or insurance. 

Additionally, you can avoid the Part B late enrollment penalty (LEP) by using the Part B SEP. You must fulfill two requirements before using the Part B SEP:

  1. You must currently be covered by work-related insurance (from your job, your spouse’s employment, or occasionally from a family member’s job), or you must have been covered within the previous eight months.
  2. Additionally, you must have consistently had coverage from either Medicare Part B or job-based insurance since first becoming eligible for Medicare, including the initial month of eligibility.

You may not go more than eight months without receiving Medicare or insurance via your present job. If you have gone over eight months without Part B or employment-based insurance, you are not eligible for the Part B SEP.

You will probably have to enroll in Medicare during either a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) or the General Enrollment Period if you missed your Initial Enrollment Period and need to do so (GEP).

Special Registration Period

  • If you qualify for the Part B SEP, you can enroll in Medicare at any time while you have job-based insurance and for eight months following the loss of your job-based insurance or the earlier of your (or your spouse’s) ceasing employment.
  • You might also be qualified for the SEP if your family member’s workplace employs at least 100 people and you are under 65, Medicare-eligible due to a handicap. You have job-based insurance through your present employment.
  • If you are qualified for Medicare due to age or disability, be aware of the disparities in coverage provided by job-based insurance.
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Period of General Enrollment

  • Every year, from January 1 to March 31, there is a GEP. You can enroll in Medicare Part B during this time.
  • If you sign up during the GEP, your insurance will begin on July 1. You won’t have Medicare coverage before then.
  • You could be penalized for paying the Part B premium if you sign up for Medicare during the GEP.

The Fall Open Enrollment period

  • Any modifications you make during the Fall Open Enrollment period go into effect on January 1.
  • You can switch to Original Medicare even if you currently have Medicare Advantage. You must also enroll in a Part D plan to receive prescription coverage.
  • Depending on where you live, you might be eligible for a Medigap policy to assist with your Original Medicare expenses. There are restrictions on who can purchase a Medigap and when.

Conclusion

This guide aims to inform readers of the Medicare Advantage application procedure. The tutorial begins with an introduction to the Original Medicare program before discussing the choices and deadlines for signing up for Medicare Advantage.

Read More: How To Select Affordable Medicare Advantage?

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