Special Enrollment Periods For Medicare
Signing up for Medicare or changing your Medicare plan is possible at various times. If you are eligible for Medicare, it’s important to start considering your needs and goals as soon as possible. That includes learning more about Medicare special enrollment periods (SEPs).
During a Medicare SEP, you can make changes to your Medicare prescription drug coverage and Medicare Advantage plans. These are special enrollment periods, meaning you cannot make changes just at any time.
What Can You Do During Special Enrollment Periods?
Medicare special enrollment periods allow you to make changes to your coverage. This may include:
Enrolling in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B
Enrolling in Medicare Part D
Switching to a Medicare Advantage plan from a different Medicare Advantage plan
Switching Part D plans
Dropping out of Part D coverage completely
Dropping Medicare Advantage and returning to Original Medicare (parts A and B)
When Are SEPs?
In certain scenarios, you may be issued a Special Enrollment Period, during which you can make changes to your coverage. These scenarios include:
Change Of Residence
Moving to an area where your current plan may not provide effective coverage may warrant making changes to your plan. For example, your new address may no longer be in your plan’s service area, or there may be new plan options that you did not have before.You can also join, switch, or drop coverage while living in an institution (like a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital). Moreover, you can make coverage changes for two months after the month you leave the institution. Lastly, you may apply if you just moved back to the U.S. after living outside of the country or being released from jail.
You Lose Your Current Coverage
You may have lost coverage from your employer or union, such as COBRA coverage. If you’ve lost your drug coverage for various reasons, you may be eligible for an SEP, so you can put in place the proper plan, in some cases.
You Qualify For Coverage From Somewhere Else
You may be able to obtain an SEP if you have a chance to get coverage from somewhere else. For example, you may be able to enroll in insurance from a new employer or union. You may become eligible for other prescription drug coverage that is just as good as what you are receiving from Medicare. You may qualify for coverage through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the PACE program.
Your Plan Changes Its Contract
If your Medicare Advantage plan changes its contract with Medicare and that alters or otherwise impacts your coverage, you may be able to get into an SEP to make changes.
New SEP for 2023
Beginning January 1, 2023, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period for the following:
Impacts by natural disaster or emergency
Losing Medicaid coverage
Review the full list of special circumstances that may qualify you to switch plans with Medicare.
It’s important to know your rights. If you believe you have an instance in which you need to make changes to your plan, it’s best to reach out to your provider to learn about your options or talk to the licensed agents at Senior Healthcare Direct for additional support and guidance.