Open Enrollment Period
Mark your calendar with these important dates! In most cases, this may be the only chance you have each year to make a change to your health and prescription drug coverage.
- October 1, 2014
Start comparing your coverage with other options. You may be able to save money by comparing all of your options.
- October 15 - December 7, 2014
Change your Medicare health or prescription drug coverage for 2015, if you decide to.
- January 1, 2015
New coverage begins if you make a change during Open Enrollment. New costs and benefit changes also begin if you keep your existing Medicare health or prescription drug coverage, and your plan makes changes.
What is Original Medicare and who is eligible?
Original Medicare is a health insurance program that is run by the U.S. government. This insurance program offers you a broad range of coverage for medical care at little or no cost to you.
You are eligible to enroll in this program if you fall into one of these categories:1
1. You are 65 or older.
2. You are under 65 with certain disabilities.
And, both of these items describe you:
1. You or your spouse worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years.
2. You are a permanent resident of the U.S. or a legal citizen who lived in the U.S. for five years in a row.
What are Medicare Supplement plans and who is eligible?
Medicare Supplement plans are offered by private insurers. These plans can help pay your share (coinsurance, copays or deductibles) of the costs of Medicare-covered services. It is very important to note that there are different open enrollment periods for Medicare Supplement plans and Original Medicare.
For Medicare Supplement, you are eligible to enroll:
1. When you are 65 or older; or
2. You are under 65 and eligible for Medicare due to a disability;1 and
3. After you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.
You will want to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan within your initial eligibility period so you can enjoy guaranteed acceptance into your choice of plan, without needing to answer questions about your health or qualify medically.
Your acceptance is guaranteed if you apply for coverage before or within six months of your initial enrollment in Medicare Part B. If you’ve been enrolled in Medicare Part B for more than six months, we’ll have to review your health history to see if you’re eligible for the plan you selected.
If you have had at least six months of prior creditable coverage or are in a guaranteed issue situation, you don’t have to wait for coverage to start for a pre-existing condition. Many types of health care coverage
count as creditable coverage, but they only count if you did not have a break for more than 63 days. This prior coverage can be used to eliminate or shorten waiting periods for pre-existing conditions.
A pre-existing condition is a condition either treated or diagnosed six months prior to the effective date of your policy. Remember, for Medicare-covered services, Original Medicare will still cover the condition, even if you are responsible for out-of-pocket costs during the pre-existing condition waiting period.
Did you know that Medicare comes in separate parts?
The simplest way to get a handle on Medicare is to understand that Medicare is a federal government health insurance program that comes in a few different parts. Medicare Supplement plans, on the other hand, are offered by private insurance companies. Following is a brief overview of those Medicare parts that can work alongside Medicare Supplement plans.
Please check www.medicare.gov or call us at (760)471-2200 for more eligibility information.