Signing up for and/or changing your Medicare Health Insurance or Part D Rx Plan cannot be done at will. It has to be done during an Enrollment Period. Medicare Supplements have different rules which we will go into later. The following is a list of Enrollment Periods that are available to you depending upon your individual circumstances:
(IEP) InitialEnrollment Period- This is your first Enrollment Period (If you didn’t get on disability Medicare before age 65) and it is the 7 month period of time when you are turning 65 and aging into Medicare. It begins 3 months before your birth month, your birth month and the 3 months after your birth month.
(AEP) Annual Enrollment Period- October 15 to December 7- This is the time when you can add or change your Medicare Advantage, Part D Rx Plan or return to Original Medicare and add a Supplement Plan. The change will be effective for 1/1.
(OEP) Open Enrollment Period- January 1 to March 31- If you didn’t change during AEP you can still make some changes during this period. You can change your Medicare Advantage Plan to another, return to Original Medicare and add a Part D Rx Plan and add a Supplement.
(SEP) Special Enrollment Period- SEP’s are available when certain circumstances are met. A few examples are-
Moving from your plans service area
Loss of employer coverage
Discontinuance of the plan
Becoming Medicaid Eligible
These are the most widely used. There are others. Check with your Medicare Advisor to see what Enrollment Period applies to you.