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Medicare Extra Help & Special Enrollment Periods

Individuals who qualify for Medicare Extra Help may be eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.

What is Medicare Extra Help?

Medicare Extra Help is a program from Medicare that helps low-income individuals pay for prescription drug costs. To learn more about Medicare Extra Help, click here.

Understanding Enrollment Periods

Medicare enrollment periods aren’t open all the time for all individuals. There are several specific enrollment periods, and extra fees can be associated with enrolling outside of a designated enrollment period.

Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)

Medicare enrollment is initially open to an individual for seven months around their 65th birthday—three months before, the month of their birthday, and three months after.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

Individuals can change plans every year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). AEP runs from October 15 to December 7 every year. To learn more about AEP, click here.

Special Enrollment Period (SEP)

Medicare Special Enrollment Periods happen any time an individual is eligible to enroll in or change Medicare plans outside of IEP or AEP. A variety of circumstances can make an individual eligible for SEP, including moving or losing coverage. To read more about eligibility, click here. One of the categories of eligibility includes individuals who qualify for Medicare Extra Help.

Special Enrollment for Medicare Extra Help

Eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (Dual-Eligible)

Individuals who are dual-eligible can join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plans at any time.

To learn more about Dual Enrollment, click here.

Eligible for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Individuals who qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug coverage can join, change, or drop Medicare prescription drug coverage at any time. Coverage will begin at the start of the month after you ask to join a plan.

Eligible for a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP)

Individuals in SPAP programs can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan OR a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage once at any time during a calendar year.

Make Medicare Easy

Understanding Medicare categories, enrollment periods, and eligibility can be confusing. That doesn’t even include the burden of evaluating plans! Your healthcare is important, and you deserve to make an informed choice. easyMedicare.com provides licensed health agents to answer your questions and help you find a Medicare plan that suits your needs. To speak with an agent about your healthcare, call 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday.