For Original Medicare - Part A and Part B - a simple way to determine your exact Medicare effective date is to refer to the lower right corner of your Medicare Card or to refer to your letter from either the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board.
No. Medicare Supplement insurance policies help cover Medicare Part A & B out-of-pocket costs. Medicare Advantage Plans are an alternative way to get your Medicare coverage and, in some cases, additional benefits.
Any time after you are enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. You do not have to wait for Open Enrollment to buy a policy. The best time to buy is in the first 6 months after you are 65 years old and enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B.
The best time to enroll is during the open enrollment window around your 65th birthday – preferably in the three months before the month you turn 65, so that you’ll have Medicare coverage by the time you turn 65.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 - December 7 every year.
Effective January 1, 2019, Medicare is replacing the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period with the Open Enrollment Period.
The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period will run from January 1 – March 31 every year. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll have a one-time opportunity to:
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B
- Sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (if you return to Original Medicare). Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage already. Usually you can’t enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, but there are some situations where you can. Call your Medicare Advantage plan if you have questions.
- Drop your stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
Your income and resources determine the level of help you receive. In 2018 eligibility is limited to annual income of $18,210 for an individual and $24,690 for married couples. In addition, resources must not exceed $14,100 for an individual and $28,150 for married couples.
Policies help pay for Medicare Part A & B deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance. Some policies also include coverage for certain health services not covered by Medicare.