Your guide to Medicare: What’s Covered and When
Medicare is a complicated insurance program. One of the many complexities are that there are different calendar years for Medicare eligibility. There are four types of Medicare Calendar Year, each with its own set of benefits and limitations.
The first type of Medicare calendar year is the Initial Enrollment Period. This time frame begins three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after that date. During this period, you can sign up for Part A (hospitalization) without having to pay a premium or any enrollment fees.
The next type of Medicare Calendar Year is called General Enrollment Period. The only difference between the two periods are that during this one, there will be no penalty if you chose not to enroll in Part B (doctor visits). If you fail to make an informed decision about either plan within these open enrollment times you may have to wait until next season’s general annual opening of new applicants; but it isn’t too late even then! You’ll need medical documentation about any health conditions you’ve had during the interim.
The third type of Medicare Calendar Year is called Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP). This yearly enrollment period happens once a year, every October 15-December 31st and has specific requirements regarding your eligibility to enroll in or change plans. The January coverage date will be effective starting the following year if an application for this time frame was filed before December 31st. If it’s after that date then your Part B insurance will begin on either February or March depending upon how quickly we get all required documents back from you and when they arrive at our office.
The last one is Special Enrollment Period (SEP) which can help with late signups, changes in your income, loss of other health insurance coverage or moving out-of-network. You can enroll during this period even if it isn’t an open enrollment time but you must provide the proper documentation for us to process any type of claim.