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Medicare Annual Enrollment: Who is Eligible?

During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period from October 15th to December 7th, anyone who is 65+ is eligible for a Medicare plan. You can also be under the age of 65 years old and still qualify for a Medicare plan. How? It is because you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Most people will receive Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) for free, but some may have to pay a premium for the coverage. In order to be eligible for premium-free Part A, the person must be eligible for monthly Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Based on the eligibility rules for Part B (medical insurance), it all depends whether or not the individual is eligible for premium-free Part A. However, individuals who have to pay for premium for Part A must meet the following criteria if they are looking to enroll in Part B as well:

  • Must be 65+
  • A United States resident or United States citizen
  • An immigrant who has been legally been living in the United States and plans on residing for the next five or more years

Since Part B is a voluntary program, that means that there will be a monthly premium.

By enrolling in Medicare Part A and Part B, you are now eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan as well as a Medicare Supplement plan (Medigap). The most common Medicare Advantage plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans, and Special Needs plans (SNPs). The best time to enroll for a Medicare Supplement plan would be the first day of the month that you are turning 65 years of age or older. During the Annual Enrollment Period, you will most likely have a guaranteed right to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan in your service area.

For more information on the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, feel free to call 1-800-991-4407 or click here to download a free copy of our Medicare Basics guide.