Thursday, December 7, 2023

How Long Do You Have To Enroll In Medicare

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How To Enroll In A Medicare Advantage Plan

How to Enroll in Medicare Online

You usually have several choices if you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

  • Arrange a time to talk with us, and we can help you enroll. Use the links below to set up a phone call.

Remember, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B to be eligible for Medicare Advantage, and you have to live in the plans service area. If you are under 65 and have end-stage renal disease , you can generally enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Start comparing plans by entering your zip code on this page.

New To Medicare?

Becoming eligible for Medicare can be daunting. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you understand Medicare in 15 minutes or less.

Who Needs To Sign Up For A Medicare Part D Plan

As you can see in the example above, the Part D penalty can be significant. With Part D premiums starting at around $15 in most states, most people find it beneficial to have at least minimal Part D coverage when they start with Medicare, even if their medication needs are non-existent.

If you are someone who does use prescription drugs, it certainly is beneficial to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan. The most advisable way to do this is to compare the plans based on how well they cover your specific medications. You can run a comparison on to do this instructions for doing it are listed here.

If you have questions about your transition to Medicare Part D or anything else related to the transition you can reach us at 877.506.3378 or online.

What Are The Implications Of Not Signing Up For Part D When You Are First Eligible

First and foremost, Medicare has a late enrollment penalty for not signing up for Part D when you are first eligible. For many people, this initial eligibility is when you turn 65 and start Medicare. In this situation, you have an initial election period to choose a Part D plan that lasts for seven months the month you turn 65 plus three months on each side of the turning 65 month. After that initial election period, if you have not signed up for a plan, the late enrollment penalty begins .

For others, if you are covered by a group plan past age 65 , your initial eligibility for Part D begins when that coverage terminates. In this situation, you have two months after the group coverage ends to sign up for a Part D plan. After that two month period ends, the Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty would begin.

Besides the late enrollment penalty, there are other implications of not signing up for a Part D plan when you are first eligible. The most significant of these is that you can only enroll in a Part D plan during a valid enrollment period. The valid enrollment periods are:

  • Your Initial Election Period when you are first starting Medicare
  • A Special Election Period when you are losing group coverage as described above
  • The Annual Election Period this period runs October 15 to December 7 each calendar year

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Medicare Renewal When Might You Have To Renew Your Medicare Coverage

There are some exceptions where youll need to take action to continue your coverage. Some situations where your Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage wont be automatically renewed include, but arent limited to:

  • Your plan reduces its service area, and you now live outside of its coverage area.
  • Your plan doesnt renew its Medicare contract for the upcoming year.
  • Your plan leaves the Medicare program in the middle of the year.
  • Medicare terminates its contract with your plan.

If your Medicare plan doesnt renew its contract with Medicare for the coming year, your Special Election Period will run from December 8 to the last day of February of the following year. If you have Medicare Advantage and dont enroll in a new plan by the date that your current plan ends its contract with Medicare, youll be automatically returned to Original Medicare.

Keep in mind that your new coverage starts on the first day of the month after you submit your enrollment application, meaning if you apply on February 8, your new Medicare plan wouldnt begin until March 1.

How Long Before You Turn 65 Do You Apply For Medicare

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

May 8, 2021 / 1 min read / Written by Jason B.

Initially, there is a 7-month enrollment period, where a person can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or B. The details of this window are:

  • It begins 3 months before turning 65
  • Includes the month you turn 65
  • Closes 3 months after turning 65

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare upon turning 65.

If you are new to Medicare, there are plenty of resources to help you make the best decision for your medical needs. A Medicare representative can help you to understand any of the following areas you may have questions on:

  • When and if you qualify for Medicare
  • What Medicare covers
  • How Medicare works with other Insurances
  • Assistance with Medicare costs

To speak to a representative or schedule an in-person appointment, call 1-800-MEDICARE . TTY users 1-877-486-2048. You can also apply for Medicare with the online application.

Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealths Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage. Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.


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Is There A Special Enrollment Period When Dual Eligible For Medicare And Medicaid

When eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, you can choose to change plans, whether it be switching, joining, or dropping plans. Changing plans is an option because dual-eligibility and low-income subsidy qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.

You can do this once throughout the following dates:

Those getting extra help can make changes once during the above time frames.

Enrolled in an SPAP Program

You can choose to join a Medicare plan once during the calendar year.

Enrolled in an SPAP Program and you lose eligibility

You can choose to join a new Medicare plan. You can do this either the month that you lose your eligibility or when you get the notification.

Suffer from a severe condition

If theres a Special Needs Plan and you have a severely disabling condition, you can join into a Medicare Chronic Care SNP at any time.

Errors by a Federal Employee

If you join a plan or decide to not participate because of a mistake by a federal employee, you have a few options.

You can choose to:

  • enter a new Medicare plan
  • switch from your current policy to a new one
  • drop your Advantage plan and return to Medicare
  • or drop your drug coverage.

These changes can take a full two months after the month you get notification of the error.

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If I’m In The Fehb Should I Enroll In Part A

Most people dont have to pay a premium for Part A. When combined with FEHB coverage, having Part A would limit your out-of-pocket costs for the expenses it covers . Having Part A means you cant contribute to a Health Savings Account , so youd want to delay enrolling in Part A if your FEHB coverage is HSA-qualified and you want to continue making contributions to your HSA.

You can only delay Part A until you begin collecting Social Security at which point your Part A coverage will start automatically. The Office of Personnel Management , which administers the FEHB, recommends taking Part A if you dont have to pay a premium.

Also Check: What Is The Extra Help Program For Medicare

How Long Do I Have To Enroll After A Qualifying Event

  • For most Qualifying Events, the law says you have 60 days to submit an application, beginning with the date you lost qualifying health coverage, but
  • In reality, you have less than 60 days if you want to avoid a gap in coverage.
  • O.K., but How long? I would suggest you have only two weeks to submit your application during a Special Enrollment Period or SEP. Confused? Let me explain below.

    How Long Does It Take To Get Medicare

    Medicare Part A | How to Enroll in Part A (Plus What It Covers and Avoiding Penalties)

    As you approach your 65th birthday, you may be wondering how long it will take for your Medicare benefits to kick in and when you should enroll.

    Medicare is the federal health insurance program created to make sure older Americans, and people with certain disabilities and illnesses, have access to affordable medical care. When your Medicare coverage begins may vary depending on your birthday or social security benefits, so it is important to consider these factors when deciding when to enroll.

    Also Check: Is Medicare Medicaid The Same

    Sign Up With Priority Health

    If youre approaching 65 and are looking into Medicare coverage options, consider choosing Priority Health.

    Priority Health offers a variety of tools to help you choose the health that works best for you, including easy online guides explaining Medicare and an online tool that allows you to compare plans.

    To enroll, you can call a Priority Health Medicare expert toll-free at 888.481.1348 from 8 a.m. 8 p.m. seven days a week, or go to to complete and submit the form online.

    How Often Do You Have To Enroll In Medicare

    In general, once youre enrolled in Medicare, you dont need to take action to renew your coverage every year. This is true whether you are in Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare prescription drug plan. As long as you continue to pay any necessary premiums, your Medicare coverage should automatically renew every year with a few exceptions as described below.

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    How Much Is The Part D Penalty

    The cost of the late enrollment penalty depends on how long you went without Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage.

    Medicare calculates the penalty by multiplying 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium” times the number of full, uncovered months you didn’t have Part D or creditable coverage. The monthly premium is rounded to the nearest $.10 and added to your monthly Part D premium.

    The national base beneficiary premium may change each year, so your penalty amount may also change each year.


    Mrs. Martinez is currently eligible for Medicare, and her Initial Enrollment Period ended on May 31, 2017. She doesn’t have prescription drug coverage from any other source. She didn’t join by May 31, 2017, and instead joined during the Open Enrollment Period that ended December 7, 2019. Her drug coverage was effective January 1, 2020.


    Since Mrs. Martinez was without creditable prescription drug coverage from June 2017December 2019, her penalty in 2021 was 31% of $33.06 , or $10.25 each month. Since the monthly penalty is always rounded to the nearest $0.10, she pays $10.30 each month in addition to her plan’s monthly premium.

    Here’s the math:

    .31 × $33.06 = $10.25

    $10.25 rounded to the nearest $0.10 = $10.30

    $10.30 = Mrs. Martinez’s monthly late enrollment penalty for 2021

    How To Disenroll Or Switch Medicare Advantage Plans

    Do You Have to Sign Up for Medicare Every Year ...

    Once youve decided to drop or change your Medicare Advantage plan, the first step is to enroll in the new plan youve chosen. Do this by filing out an enrollment request with the new plan during an open or special enrollment period to avoid penalties. After youve signed up with a new plan and your coverage begins, you will automatically be disenrolled from your previous plan.

    If youre leaving Medicare Advantage to return to original Medicare, you can call 800-MEDICARE to resume original Medicare services.

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    The Cost Of Medicare Part B

    Unlike Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B requires a premium from everyone. The standard premium for Medicare Part B in 2020 is $144.60 a month, which applies to most people, including new enrollees. That premium changes each year, usually increasing. In 2021, the Part B premium is $148.50 a month.

    Youll also have an annual deductible of $203 in 2021 .

    There are penalty fees for not signing up during your Initial Enrollment Period , but well discuss those in a separate section.

    While most people pay the standard amounts for premiums and deductibles, some people will pay more, depending on their income. The more you make, the higher your likelihood will be for paying more than the standard amount. The extra fee per month is called the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount . How much more can you expect to pay if you fall outside of the standard range? The Medicare website offers a handy chart on the rates for those with higher incomes, which is updated each year. These are the rates for 2020, based on the income reported on your 2018 tax return:

    These amounts reflect individual incomes only. Married couples will pay the same rates, but for different, higher thresholds. For example, a couple that earns over $174,000 per year and files a joint tax return will pay $202.40 per month for Medicare Part B premiums.

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    How Much Is The Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty

    The Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty is calculated based on how long you have been without creditable prescription coverage. In other words, your penalty is applied when you enroll in a prescription plan. If you wait longer, the penalty will be higher. The penalty is 1% per month that you dont have a plan. The 1% per month is multiplied by the national base beneficiary premium for 2018, this is $35.02.

    For example, if you turned 65 in April of 2015, have no other drug coverage, and enrolled in a Part D plan to start 1/1/18, your penalty would start after your initial election period expired . Your penalty would be for 29 months .29 x $35.02 = $10.16. They round this to the nearest .10, so you would pay $10.20/mo on top of the Part D premium of the plan you select.

    It is important to note that the national base beneficiary premium for Part D changes over time. Thus, your Part D late enrollment penalty can also change over time.

    Also, the penalty is a permanent penalty. It stays with you as long as you have a Part D plan and does not go away or get reduced over time.

    Do Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Renew Automatically

    How to enroll in Medicare

    Yes, coverage is guaranteed renewable on an automatic basis as long as premium payments are maintained. Again, it is important to look into multiple polices and providers when it comes to Medicare Supplement coverage, as policies and rules can vary among states and providers.


    Medicare information is everywhere. What is hard is knowing which information to trust. Because eHealths Medicare related content is compliant with CMS regulations, you can rest assured youre getting accurate information so you can make the right decisions for your coverage. Read more to learn about our Compliance Program.


    Read Also: How To Get Medical Equipment Through Medicare

    How To Choose The Right Medicare Coverage For You

    There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a Medicare plan, and your needs or finances might change down the road. Weigh your options carefully at the beginning, keeping your current and future healthcare needs and your budget in mind.

    Medicare Advantage plans offer optional additional services but will cost more than original Medicare. Some of the costs you pay upfront with Medicare Advantage may save you money in the long run, especially on extra services like prescription coverage, vision, and dental.

    If you go with a Medicare Advantage plan, you should also review the plans quality rating and whether your existing or preferred doctors and facilities are in-network. Compare plans carefully to find one that fits your specific needs.

    You should also review your prescription drug plan options, considering which plans cover your medications. Each plan should outline cost ranges for various drugs. Make sure what you need is covered at a price you can afford.

    Is There A Special Enrollment Period For Extra Help

    When you qualify for Extra Help, you also qualify for a continuous SEP. You can drop, join or switch plans one time during each period January through March, April through June, and July through September.

    You cant make changes from October through December with this Special Enrollment Period. When making a change, the new policy will go into effect on the first day of the next month.

    Read Also: What Is The Penalty For Not Enrolling In Medicare

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