Medicare open enrollment starts October 15

Chances are good that you’ve seen or heard something about Medicare open enrollment recently.  What is it?  You become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65.  You have a seven month window to enroll in the program.  The window opens three months before the month you turn 65 and continues for three months after the month you turn 65.  If you are already collecting Social Security before you turn 65 you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare.

Once enrolled, each year you have an opportunity to make certain changes to your coverage. That period is called the open enrollment period.  It begins next Monday (October 15) and runs through December 7.  Any changes you make will take effect on January 1, 2013.

During the open enrollment period you can:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan (or vice versa)
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to one that does (or vice versa)
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely

You can review and compare coverage options at www.medicare.gov or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.  Also, feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.

~ Joe

Photo by Ben Lyon.  Used under Creative Commons License.

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