Important Dates for Medicare
Medicare Important Dates
It is vitally important to know your Medicare options and their cost, but it is just as imperative to know Medicare's important dates to ensure that you’re enrolled properly and on time. Not only should you know when to first enroll in Medicare, but you should also be aware of the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which allows you to switch from one form of Medicare to another.
What Are the Important Medicare Dates if You're Already Enrolled?
There are some important date ranges to keep in mind if you’re already enrolled. Mark these on your calendar:
- October 15 through December 7 - Medicare Open Enrollment Period- The new plans for the upcoming year are released and you can decide whether to keep your current prescription drug or Medicare Advantage coverage or change to a new option.
- January 1 through March 31- During this time you can make one change from your Medicare Advantage coverage to another Medicare Advantage plan.
What Does Open Enrollment Mean?
This is when you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan or vice versa. You can also switch from one drug plan to another. If you don’t do anything with your coverage during this time of the year you will be automatically renewed on the plan you had the previous year unless that plan was discontinued.
What if I move to New Jersey in the middle of the year?
There are a few exceptions to the open enrollment period including if you move from out of state. Below is a list of special enrollment periods.
- You change where you live - if you move and have new Medicare plan options available to you in your new residence, you will have a 2 month enrollment window after you change your address with Social Security.
- You qualify for assistance with your medications through NJ PAAD or Senior Gold - You can change your coverage 1 time at any point during the year.
- You qualify for Extra Help paying for prescription through the federal government or are on NJ Medicaid - You can change your coverage one time every quarter (3 months).
What about Changing Medigap Plans?
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans can be changed at ANY time during the year. However, you may have to go through medical underwriting to qualify.
How to Enroll in Medicare for the First Time
Depending on your particular case, you may be auto-enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B (such as if you are receiving Social Security benefits) or you may have to apply. You should look for information from CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) 3 months prior to your 65th birthday month. Once you’re enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B speak with a broker to help you enroll in any additional options such as drug coverage, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Advantage.
To determine your options, contact New Jersey Medicare Brokers LLC today.