Medicare Enrollment 2020
If you are an American citizen, or you have lived in the United States for 5 years or more without leaving, then you are eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 years of age. There are however some exceptions to this rule for individuals under the age of 65 who meet certain qualifications for early enrollment into Medicare. These special circumstances can be any of the following:
- You have received Social Security benefits for 24 months and on the 25th month you are automatically enrolled into Medicare part A and B
- You have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease also known as ALS and you are on Social Security, you are eligible for Medicare coverage on the sixth month that your disability started
- You have been diagnosed with end-stage renal failure also known as ESRD, and you have either been on dialysis for 3 months or you have had a kidney transplant
There are of course many other special circumstances for individuals with unique needs and or conditions. The average American should know that they are automatically eligible for Medicare enrollment at age 65.
When is Medicare Enrollment 2020 For Part B?
There are multiple enrollment periods for Medicare, and it all depends on your specific circumstances. The open enrollment period for all eligible beneficiaries (AEP) for Medicare enrollment 2020, was from October 15th 2019 to December 7th 2019. During this time: Medicare Beneficiaries with Original Medicare can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan and vice versa, any beneficiary with an Advantage (Part C) plan can switch back to Original Medicare parts A and B. During this time, anyone electing Original Medicare can switch, add or drop their Part D Prescription Drug Coverage. Beneficiaries can also switch their Advantage Plans. All of these plan changes will take effect and new coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year.
If you missed this enrollment period, or you had other employer coverage that allowed you to delay Medicare enrollment, there are other enrollment periods.
The first of these is the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This is the time when a beneficiary is eligible for their first ever Medicare enrollment. During the initial enrollment, beneficiaries may enroll in Medicare Parts A, B, C and D and/or Medigap. The initial enrollment period is:
- 3 months before your 65th birthday
- The month of your 65th birthday
- The three months after your birthday
Unless you have special circumstances allowing you to delay Medicare enrollment, it is highly recommended that you sign up for your Medicare Part B coverage as soon as you are eligible. Delaying enrollment will push back your coverage start date, and you could be subject to penalties if you wait too long. If you enroll:
- In the three months before your 65th birthday; coverage will begin on the first day of your birthday month
- During your birthday month; coverage begins the first day of the month after your birthday
- The month after your birthday; coverage begins three months after your birth month
- The second month after your birthday month; coverage will start 5 months after your birthday month
- During the third month after your birthday month; coverage will start 6 months after your birthday month
Let’s take a look at an example or further clarification. Let’s say that Charles will turn 65 on April 15th 2020. Carl’s initially became eligible in January of 2020. Charles can choose to make elections for his Medicare enrollment in January February and March, and it’s coverage will begin on April 1st because that is his birth month.
Let’s say Charles puts off his enrollment for whatever reason and he decides to make elections for his Medicare enrollment 2020 in April during his birth month. Coverage for Charles will start on May 1st 2020, which is the first day of the month after his birthday month.
If Charles decides to make his elections for Medicare enrollment 2020 in May, which is the month after his birth month, coverage for Charles will not begin until July 1st of 2020 which is 3 months after his birthday month.
If Charles decides to make his elections for Medicare enrollment 2020 in June, which is 2 months after his birthday month, then his coverage will not begin until months after his birthday month which would be September 1st 2020.
Charles decides to make his elections for Medicare enrollment 2020 in July, which is the last month of his initial enrollment., and 3 months after his birthday month, then his coverage will not begin until October 1st of 2020.
To enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, go to, https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/
Medicare Enrollment 2020 for Part D
When you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B for the first time, you must also enroll in a prescription drug plan which is also known as Medicare Part D. Just to clarify, regardless of whether or not you choose to stick with Original Medicare or you decide that a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is a better option, you must always enroll in Medicare parts A and B first. If you then choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, which is also known as a Medicare Part C plan, your plan will in most cases include your prescription drug plan,and you will not need to enroll in Medicare Part D.
The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B is almost identical to the initial enrollment period for Medicare Part D. The Part D initial enrollment period allows the beneficiary 7 months to elect coverage. This means 3 months before the beneficiary’s birthday, the month of the beneficiary’s birthday, and the three months following the beneficiary’s birthday. There are however, some slight differences when coverage begins. If the beneficiary signs up:
- 3 months before their birth month; Plan D coverage begins the 1st day of the birth month
- Beneficiary signs up during their birthday month; Plan D coverage begins the 1st day of the month after their birth month
- 1, 2, or 3 months after their birth month; Plan D coverage begins the 1st day of the month following their enrollment
Let’s look at another example for Charles:
Charles who turns 65 in April of 2020, has an initial enrollment period for his Medicare Part D from January 2020 to July 2020. Based on when he enrolls is when his coverage begins. If he enrolls in:
- January, February, or March; his coverage begins on April 1
- April; his coverage begins on May 1
- May; coverage begins on June 1
- June; coverage begins on July 1
- July; coverage begins on August 1
What if I Miss Medicare Enrollment 2020?
If you do end up missing your initial enrollment period for Medicare parts A and B, then there is another option known as the General Enrollment Period. The general enrollment period for parts A and B takes place from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020. The coverage will begin on July 1, 2020.
Medicare Advantage Enrollment 2020
There is an additional enrollment period for beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. The enrollment period is known as the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP). The annual MA OEP takes place from January 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020. During this time, beneficiaries who are signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan may switch to another Advantage plan, or they have the option to switch back to original medicare parts A and B along with a Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
A beneficiary enrolled in original medicare does not have the opportunity to switch plans during this time, UNLESS, they are in their first 3 months of being enrolled in Medicare parts A and B. Every individual has the opportunity to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan within their first 3 months of being enrolled in Medicare parts A and B.
To view Medicare Advantage plans available in your area, go to:
Medigap Open Enrollment 2020
Medigap or “Medicare Supplement” open enrollment is a one time 6 month period that starts from the time you are 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare part B. This is the guaranteed issue period for a medigap plan, which means that anyone eligible during this period can enroll regardless of health issues. You can not enroll in Medigap if you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Essentially you have two choices for coverage:
- Medicare Parts A and B, with a Stand-alone Part D prescription Drug plan and a medigap plan that assists in the cost-sharing of your medical bills that original medicare does not cover.
- Medicare Advantage plan that comes with a prescription drug plan, these are often referred to as MA-PD plans. These plans come with an annual Maximum out of Pocket (MOOP) and do not allow for beneficiaries to enroll in a Medigap plan.
Beneficiaries are allowed to switch back to original medicare from an advantage plan, but there is no guarantee that they will be approved for another medigap plan once they are outside of their one time guaranteed issue period, and they should speak with a Medicare Professional about this decision because it is VERY IMPORTANT.