Medicare Enrollment 2020
There is a specific period each year in which you can apply for Medicare plans and expect to be approved for them. Let’s look at what the Medicare enrollment 2020 periods are and how those apply to anyone wanting this kind of coverage. Since there are different enrollment periods for each kind of Medicare plan, we will look at those all individually.
Eligibility for Medicare Plans
There are number of different Medicare plans- Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D and Medicare Supplement plans. Each of these is designed for seniors, but sometimes exceptions will be made to let younger people sign up for these plans and benefit from their coverage.
You generally need to be 65 years or older to qualify for any Medicare plans, and you may be able to sign up slightly earlier than that but not expect to be covered by the plan until you hit age 65.
You also have to be a US citizen to be eligible for Medicare plans, or you need to have been a resident of the United States for at least five years. Working in the public sector is not a requirement for Medicare plans, but it will alleviate some of your financial responsibilities, as it helps to cut the cost on certain parts of Medicare, if you have worked five or ten years. Keep that in mind if you are applying for one of these plans and you think the prices seem off to you.
Enrollment for Original Medicare
The Original Medicare plan includes Medicare parts A and B, covering most inpatient and outpatient expenses. It is available for anyone who is 65 years or older. In some cases, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B. This can happen if you live in US territory or Washington DC. It can also occur if you are collecting certain government benefits as you turn 65, such as Social Security.
If you are not enrolled automatically in either part of Medicare, then you can choose to manually enroll when you reach specific age. You are allowed to enroll as early as three months before you turn 65. You also have the month of your birthday to enroll and your next three months. This seven-month period is called the enrollment window, and it is your best opportunity to manually enroll in Original Medicare. If you do not enroll during this time and choose to enroll later on, there will be penalty attached to the enrollment process. This is typically a higher premium for Medicare Part B, and that’s usually 10% higher than what you would normally pay. Avoid this issue by signing up on time during the Open Enrollment period.
Enrollment for Medicare Advantage
The Medicare Advantage plans, known as Medicare Part C, are able to cover all of Original Medicare and some emergency and urgently needed expenses. There are also more robust versions of these plans that include all of that and more.
You can sign up for an Advantage plan during its Open Enrollment period, which runs from October 15th until December 7th most years. This Medicare enrollment 2020 period is available in 2019, and you have to sign up the year before you want your coverage so that the new coverage can start taking care of you from the beginning of the year. If you sign up in 2019, then you will start receiving coverage for Medicare Advantage plan expenses on January 1st, 2020.
Enrollment for Medicare Supplement
With Supplement plans, you get a six-month window in which to sign up for the plan. This starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday. This plan will cover you for all sorts of medical expenses that are not already covered under Original Medicare. It can include common costs such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, among others. These are also known as Medigap plans, and they are sold by private insurers. If you are approved for Original Medicare, then you shouldn’t have any problems being approved for Supplement plans.
Enrollment for Medicare Part D
Part D of Medicare is a prescription drug plan. It offers tiered coverage, and there are different versions of it available that depend on the carrier you bought the plan from.
Part D is sometimes included in Medicare Advantage plans, but it can be purchased on its own as well. You can sign up for Part D whenever you are eligible for Original Medicare. The same enrollment period applies, but you will not receive coverage from your Part D plan until you have some coverage from Medicare Part A or Part B. That is required coverage for Part D to be able to do anything for you.
What to Keep in Mind
You want to remember that Medicare plans are sold a lot of different ways. You will not get them all from the Medicare organization directly. Some of them are sold by private insurers, and while they may offer different lineups and different prices, the eligibility requirements stay the same. This list of eligibility requirements and enrollment periods holds true for any and all of these plans, no matter who is selling them or how much they charge for the plans.
That also means that if you missed your enrollment window with one of these plans, then you can’t simply look elsewhere for this plan and expect to sign up. If you are not sure if you are eligible for the plan you want, or you just want to know what your choices are, then please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions and point you toward the plan that is right for you. Medicare enrollment 2020 is a tricky subject, since the answer to when enrollment starts differs from one insurance plan to the next. Be sure to pay attention to your plan’s enrollment period and sign up at the right time to maximize your benefits and savings.