There are several enrollment periods to keep in mind
ENROLL IN PARTS A, B, C, & D
The Initial Enrollment Period is the window in which you first qualify for Medicare. It is a 7-month window that starts 3 months before your 65th birthday, includes your 65th birthday month, and extends 3 months after your 65th birthday month.
Initial Enrollment Period Window
The Special Election Period is available for 63 days following certain qualifying events such as moving outside your plan coverage area or, the most common event – the loss of employer group health coverage.
The General Enrollment Period is for those who did not enroll in Part B during their Initial Enrollment Period, nor did they enroll during a Special Election Period.
If you enroll during the General Enrollment Period, your coverage begins on July 1st of that year. This means that you may be without Part B coverage for 3 months or longer and subject to penalties.
The enrollment window for Medicare Supplement plans begins on your Part B effective date and ends on the last day of the 6th month after your Part B effective date. This is called the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period and is the only time you can enroll in Medicare Supplement plans where you won’t be asked medical questions. You are guaranteed to be issued a Supplement plan if you enroll in this window.
You can start the enrollment process into a Supplement plan before your Part B effective date, in fact, we highly recommend you do so 90 days before you plan on needing the benefits. We would simply set your Supplement start date to be the same as your Part B effective date.
The Annual Election Period, often referred to as AEP, happens every year from October 15th to December 7th. During this time, you may switch plans if you are on an existing Medicare Advantage plan and/or a Part D prescription drug plan. Enrollments and changes during this time go into effect on January 1st of the upcoming year.
This applies to those who are already on a Medicare Advantage plan. During the Open Enrollment Period, those who are already on a Medicare Advantage plan may switch to another Advantage plan, or decide to move back onto Original Medicare.
When moving back onto Original Medicare, most then choose to pick up a Medicare Supplement plan and a Part D prescription drug plan.