Connect One Health offers a Calendar of Events for Seniors. These are the important dates of Medicare enrollment periods and for making changes to your Medicare plans.

Initial Enrollment: There are seven total months of enrollment for those turning 65 years of age. If you do not sign up for a qualifying plan during that time Medicare, will assess late penalties.

  • Begins 3-months prior to your 65th birthday.
  • The entire month of your birth month is your month of eligibility
  • Ends three months after your 65th birthday.

Open Enrollment: Also referred to as Medicare Annual Election Period. It allows seniors to make changes to Medicare D plans or to any Medicare Advantage plan that has a prescription drug policy. Changes made become effective on January 1 of the following year.

  • Open enrollment occurs each year from October 15 through December 7.

Medicare D Marketing Activities: This is the time to gather information about changes to your prescription drug plan and then decide if you want to change plans. It is a good idea to review the drug formulary and check to see if deductibles or out of pocket expenses have been changed.

  • Medicare D Marketing Activities begin on October 1 of each year. Enrollment or changes to plans will not begin until October 15 and the opportunity to make changes to Medicare D or Medicare Advantage plans with drug benefits ends on December 7.

Medicare Disenrollment Period: During the Medicare Disenrollment Period seniors can leave a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Medicare Part A and B. Seniors may also drop their Advantage prescription drug plan and enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

  • Medicare Disenrollment Period begins January 1 and ends on February 14 or each year.

SEP or Special Enrollment Periods

Medicare allows seniors to make changes to their insurance coverage when special situations occur. There are many approved situations that Medicare recognizes as an event to qualify for a SEP. An example would be if the senior moves out of the coverage area of their Medicare C or Advantage plan. In that case, Medicare allows the senior to enroll in a new plan either Medicare A or Medicare C.

If the Senior moves out of their home into an assisted living facility or Skilled Nursing facility, then they are permitted to change plans.

An important SEP, to be aware of, is the Chronic Disease category. Medicare recognizes certain diseases, such as COPD, as requiring special needs. If the senior is diagnosed with a chronic disease the Medicare, recognizes then they are allowed to join the special needs program for that disease.

Throughout out the year Medicare affords seniors the option to make specific changes to their senior health insurance policies. Changing plans can be stressful and even confusing. Remember the Connect One Health provides free over-the-phone advice from Medicare and Medicaid experts. If you have questions about what to do or the differences between one plan and another, just use the toll-free number.