Hi, thanks for visiting. It looks like you are using an unsupported browser. Please use Chrome or Firefox.

PERSONALIZE YOUR ENROLLMENT TIMELINE


TIMING IS IMPORTANT. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHEN TO SIGN UP OR SWITCH PLANS.


Turning 65

It's important to enroll in certain parts of Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) to avoid higher costs down the road. Personalize your timeline below and see more details about what you need to accomplish.

 

New to Medicare? So is Susan!     

susan

YOUR INITIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (IEP) IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT, BUT CLOSES QUICKLY. BE SURE TO DO YOUR RESEARCH SO YOU CAN ACT QUICKLY.

While there are four enrollment times you'll need to track for Medicare, the Initial Enrollment Period is your most important sign up time. You'll make decisions that can impact coverage for the next year and even down the road. If you miss it, you may have to pay more for premiums later.

GETTING THE TIMING RIGHT

Your IEP lasts 7 months, including the 3 months before the month of your 65th birthday and the 3 months after the month of your 65th birthday. If you sign up during the 7 month period, your effective date will be the first of the month following enrollment (after you turn 65).

MAXIMIZING THE BENEFITS

During your IEP, you should enroll in Medicare Part A, Part B or both. Part B is optional, but recommended unless you have employer-sponsored coverage. You can also choose to join a Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan with optional prescription drug benefits during your IEP.


Over 65 and Retiring

If you're still working past 65, you may have postponed Original Medicare - and that's OK. But if you're now retiring you're considered a special circumstance. Customize this timeline to see your SEP.

 

Over 65 and retiring? Katherine is too!

katherine

IF YOU'RE OVER 65 AND RETIRING, YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (SEP). BUT TIMING IS STILL IMPORTANT!

In many cases, employers advise employees and covered spouses to sign up for Part A and delay Part B. So be sure to check your status for both and enroll within 7 months of the month your coverage ends. Unlike during an IEP, signing up for Parts C and D are on a separate SEP deadline.

GETTING THE TIMING RIGHT

If you don't enroll in Part B during this 7-month SEP, you'll have to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 - December 7) and may be subject to a Part B late enrollment penalty. The SEP for Part C and D plans is only 2 months past the month you retire.

MAXIMIZING THE BENEFITS

Verify your SEP eligibility by visiting your local Social Security office or calling 1-800-772-1213 7am to 7pm Monday through Friday. TTY users may call 1-800-325-0778. Do your plan research well in advance to avoid missing deadlines or gaps in coverage. If you choose to join a Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, you must already be signed up for both Part A and Part B. That means you have to act much more quickly than the 7-month SEP! Consider enrolling in Original Medicare the month before you retire - Part B coverage will start 1 month after sign up, assuring continuous coverage.


Over 65 and Switching

While turning 65 was a one-time thing, choosing Medicare coverage is not. Because lifestyles and health needs change, Medicare gives you the option of re-evaluating your plans every year. View this timeline to see when you can change.

 

Want to change plans? So does Larry!

larry

MEDICARE'S ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD IS ONE OF THE FEW TIMES DURING THE YEAR THAT YOU CAN RE-WORK YOUR COVERAGE TO BETTER MEET YOUR NEEDS.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which occurs annually from October 15 through December 7, offers a great opportunity to change plan types and coverage levels to more comfortably fit your changing health and lifestyle. Or you may want to switch private insurance companies. Now's your time.

GETTING THE TIMING RIGHT

In most cases once AEP closes, you'll have to wait a full year to make plan changes. Exceptions include the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period from January 1 to February 14 that allows you to switch back from any Part C plan to Medicare Part A and B (Original Medicare). If certain events happen in your life, such as moving or losing other insurance, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

MAXIMIZING THE BENEFITS

It's a good idea to take notes during the year on how well your current Medicare plan is suiting your needs or about changing circumstances that are better covered by another plan. Keep in mind that during the Annual Enrollment Period, your options include: changing back and forth between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, switching Medicare Advantage plans including ones that cover prescription drugs, and joining, dropping or switching Part D prescription drug plans. Get advice from your local social security office to be sure you're not overlooking any rules that exclude or delay new plan combinations. Or schedule a personal consultation with a BCBSWY Agent.