Medicare Extra Help | Understanding Important Terms and Deadlines
Medicare Extra Help
When it’s eventually time to sign up for Medicare, there’s a lot of information to understand. It’s important to pay attention to terms and dates so you don’t miss any deadlines for enrollment.
To begin your research, read through the lists below of important Medicare terminology and deadlines. After that, reach out to a medicare advisor near me for medicare extra help.
#1 Initial Enrollment Period – You become eligible for Medicare during the 7-month enrollment period (initial) near your 65th birthday. This initial enrollment period lets you choose and enroll in Medicare 3 months before your birth month.
#2 Annual Enrollment Period – The period when all Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Medicare or change their coverage. Occurs every year from October 15th to December 7th.
#3 Special Enrollment Period – A period that allows you to receive health care coverage during special occasions such as loss of employment, change in marital status, change of address, or change in health care coverage
#4 Open Enrollment – Medicare Advantage policyholders can change or switch policies from January 1st to March 31st each year.
#5 DVH – Dental, Vision, and Hearing plans that cover visits to the dentist, eye doctor, and hearing specialist.
#6 Formulary – A complete list of prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D. New formularies are received every year.
#7 Part A – This is Medicare’s premium-free hospital insurance. Initial enrollment to Medicare includes Part A, which covers approximately 80% of inpatient costs.
#8 Part B – This plan covers outpatient care which includes: doctor visits, routine and emergency medical services, and some preventative care
#9 Part C – Also known as Medicare Advantage which includes both Part A and Part B. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, resulting in different out-of-pocket costs.
#10 Part D – The prescription drug coverage plan (Part D) is optional, but can exponentially reduce your out-of-pocket costs. Plan D is offered by private insurance companies and is different in each state.
The previous 10 terms are some of the most important terms to learn first. They offer you insight into plan specifics, eligibility, and a few dates. When it comes to looking for medicare extra help, familiarize yourself with these definitions so you can ask informed questions.
Important Dates and Deadlines
The second important part of getting ready for Medicare is understanding when you’re eligible and when you should enroll. Using your new knowledge above, apply the term definitions to the following Part deadlines.
If you enroll in Part A and/or Part B:
1-3 months before you turn 65
The first day of your birth month
The month you turn 65
1 month after you enroll
1 month after you turn 65
2 months after you enroll
2 months after you turn 65
3 months after you enroll
3 months after you turn 65
3 months after you enroll
Note that if your birthday falls on the first of the month, coverage will start on the first of the previous month. If you happen to miss your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), you can still sign up during the Open Enrollment Period, January 1st through March 31st. If you do enroll during the Open Enrollment Period, your Medicare coverage starts July 1st.
Medicare advisors from multiple different agencies are standing by to assist you with your medicare extra help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, review the material above and do a little bit of your own online research. Talk to friends or family members who have gone through the process already.
When you are ready to make the change, seek out a medicare advisor near me who can walk you through this big decision.