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Medicare Annual Enrollment: Everything You Need to Know for the Annual Enrollment Period

Learn about eligibility, when to enroll, how to enroll, and why you should choose easyMedicare.com to help. easyMedicare’s goal is to make the complicated subject of Medicare as easy as possible for you and your family.

What is Medicare Annual Enrollment?

Medicare Open Enrollment Everything You Need to Know

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period happens once every year (October 15th to December 7th) for individuals 65 years of age or older. It is that time of year when you have the opportunity to change your Medicare coverage plan, the cost, the provider and even your pharmacy. Whether you would like to switch from an Original Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage plan (or vice versa), there are a variety of different options to choose from during the Annual Open Enrollment. The most popular options (but not limited to) during this time are Medicare Advantage plans as well as Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plans.

Before renewing or changing your current plan, it is important to always review your Medicare health and drug coverage. If you are unsatisfied with your current plan, now is the time to make the change. Just remember that if you do not change your plan during the open enrollment period, you will be stuck with the coverage until the following year.

Pick and choose your plans wisely. In some cases, you may be completely satisfied with your current Medicare coverage. This is excellent, but you should not always settle. Review your current plan and contact easyMedicare.com to see if there is any way to make changes in your plan that could potentially lower the cost of your plan.

When is 2019 Medicare Annual Enrollment?

Medicare Open Enrollment starts on Monday, October 15th and lasts until Friday December 7th. If you are enrolling during this time, your coverage will start on January 1 of the new year. During Open Enrollment, you can:

  1. Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan (or vice versa)
  2. Anyone who has or is enrolling in Medicare Part A or B can join or drop their Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)
  3. Switch from your current Medicare Advantage plan to a new Medicare Advantage plan
  4. Switch from your current Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D) to a new Prescription Drug Plan

In order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must have Medicare Part A and B, live in the plan’s service area, and you cannot have End-Stage Renal Disease.

You cannot use the Open Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or B if it is your first time.

Who is Eligible?

During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period from October 15th to December 7th, anyone who is 65 or older 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 years of age or older
  • A United States resident or United States citizen
  • An immigrant who has 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 Open Enrollment Period, you will most likely have a guaranteed right to enroll in any Medicare Supplement plan in your service area.

How Do I Enroll?

Enrolling for Medicare is easy! easyMedicare’s licensed insurance agents take pride in helping others find affordable Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans that meets their financial and medical needs. When you contact easyMedicare, you will get a personal consultation from an agent who will take the time to find out what you are looking for in a Medicare plan. Agents have the ability to compare plan options from multiple insurance carriers, review costs and benefits, and help you enroll in a Medicare plan.

Why Choose easyMedicare.com?

easyMedicare’s licensed insurance agents take pride in helping others find affordable Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplement plans that meets their financial and medical needs. When you contact easyMedicare, you will get a personal consultation from an agent who will take the time to find out what you are looking for in a Medicare plan. easyMedicare’s agents have the ability to compare plan options from multiple insurance carriers, review costs and benefits, and help you enroll in a Medicare plan. easyMedicare’s main carriers include Mutual of Omaha, Humana, Cigna, Aetna, WellCare and Anthem.

To help make the enrollment process easier, easyMedicare.com has made a “Making Sense of Medicare: The Medicare Basics” guide which details each Medicare part, including Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D. The guide comes complete with easy-to-read diagrams, as well as a section with frequently asked questions, all of which are intended to make it easier for people to consume and process much-needed information.

For a free download of easyMedicare.com’s “Making Sense of Medicare: The Medicare Basics” guide, visit easyMedicare.com.

If you are ready to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan during Medicare Open Enrollment, call 1-800-991-4407 to speak with easyMedicare's licensed insurance agents.

For more information on Medicare Annual Enrollment, click here.