Enrolling in Medicare Advantage (Part C) & Part D
Medicare eligible consumers often decide to receive their healthcare coverage through a private Medicare Advantage Planas an alternative to Original Medicare (Parts A & B). However, there are only certain times in which you canenroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, and in some cases (under 65 with End Stage Renal Disease),you may not be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.
If you decide to enroll in Medicare Part A and B or have End Stage Renal Disease and are under 65,check out https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-parts-a-and-b/when-how-to-sign-up-for-part-a-and-part-b.html andhttp://www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly/
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D covers prescription drug coverage for eligible consumers.Like Medicare Advantage, there are only certain times in which you can enroll in Medicare Part D. There arealso penalties if you enroll in Medicare Part D later than when you are first eligible unless you have privatecoverage at least as good as the Medicare drug benefit.
Note that if you enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan when you’re already have Medicare Advantage, you will automatically dropyour Medicare Advantage plan coverage and will join Original Medicare.
Enrolling when first Eligible – Initial Enrollment
For Medicare beneficiaries turning 65, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D when you turn 65. You can enrollin Medicare Advantage for the 3 months prior, the month of your 65th birthday and the 3 months after.
For disabled Medicare beneficiaries under 65 (except those with ERSD), you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Part D starting 21 months after you get Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. Your Medicare coverage begins 24 months after you get Social Security or RRB disability benefits. Your chance to sign up lasts through the 28th month after you get Social Security or RRB benefits.
If you have Medicare Part A coverage, and you get Medicare Part B for the first time by enrolling during the Part B General Enrollment Period (January 1–March 31), you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Part D between April 1–June 30. 2
Open Enrollment Periods
The Annual Enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Part D October is 15 to December 7. During this period, eligible beneficiaries can:
|For Medicare Advantage||For Medicare Part D|
|Enroll in Medicare Advantage instead of Original Medicare||Enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan|
|Drop Medicare Advantage and join Original Medicare||Drop a Medicare Part D Plan|
|Switch Medicare Advantage Plans||Switch Medicare Part D Plans|
Enrollment due to Special Circumstances(Special Enrollment Periods)
In certain cases, you can enroll in Medicare Advantage or Part D outside of Initial and Open Enrollment Periods.1For example, if you have a five star Medicare Advantage plan in your area, you can enroll in that once from December 8 to November 30.Learn the specifics of Special Enrollment Periods to see if you qualify.3