When Can I Switch Medicare Health Plans?

One of the most frequently asked questions is when it is possible to switch between Medicare Health Plans.

The Medicare Health Plans Initial Enrollment Period

For patients receiving Social Security Benefits, they will automatically receive their Medicare enrollment package in the mail 3 months before their eligibility period will begin. If you are unsure if this applies to you, you can contact Social Security to clarify your individual situation.

The Medicare Health Plans Special Enrollment Period

If you were working and covered under private insurance, you might have opted to not register for Medicare Part B when you were eligible. You may still enroll if either of the two following applies:
– you are still covered by private insurance with either a personal or spousal plan through work.
– 8 months has not yet lapsed since either the employment or the insurance terminated.
Again, the Social Security Administration can help you in determining your eligibility for Medicare Health Plan B.

Regular Once-A-Year Opportunity to Change Medicare Health Plans

From November 15th to December 31st each year, you can change your Medicare health plan. There are a number of factors to consider when contemplating changing programs. For instance, some plans can be administered by different companies in your area. Although the benefits are the same, the premiums might vary and there may be savings in that for you.

You Qualify for Extra Help With the Costs of Drug Coverage

If the Social Security Administration can help you determine if you qualify for extra assistance. They will look at both your income (or family income if that applies) as well as your assets. If they fall below a certain threshold, you may qualify for extra help. With this program, you can switch plans up to once per month.

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