If you are eligible for Medicare or enrolling this year, you have several options when it comes to your coverage. Be sure to keep these important dates in mind in 2011.
If You’re Turning 65
If you were born in 1946 (or may qualify for certain health reasons), you can enroll in Medicare in 2011. You have different options available to you and should consider all of your options. Enrollment in Medicare Part A is automatic if you’re receiving Social Security. If you are not receiving Social Security, contact your Social Security office to enroll.
For Medicare Part B (doctor visits) and Part C (Medicare Advantage), you have a 7-month Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This enrollment period begins three months before your birth month, runs through your birth month, and lasts three months after your birth month. If you sign up during the three months before your birth month, your benefits will begin on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. If you sign up during the month you were born or later, your benefits will begin on the first day of the month, following the month the completed enrollment request was received.
Medigap Insurance (also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance) has a 6-month Open Enrollment Period which starts the first month you’re both 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. While you may submit an enrollment application for Medigap Insurance at any time, it cannot be rejected if submitted during your open enrollment period because you have a guaranteed right to buy any Medigap plan sold in your state. (Some states have additional open enrollment periods.)
October 15 to December 7: Annual Election Period (AEP)
The Annual Election Period (AEP) provides Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to change their Medicare coverage annually. For 2011, the Annual Election Period will change to October 15 –December 7. If you make a change during this period, your new coverage will begin on January 1, 2012. You may want to review your current coverage and health needs with your loved ones during this time. This review will help to make sure your not paying for benefits you don’t need and that you don’t have gaps in your coverage.
For 2012: January 1 to February 14: Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP)
The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is when Medicare beneficiaries can opt out of their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare. It is important to note that during this time, you are not allowed to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan. If you decide to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan and return to Original Medicare you will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in a Part D plan for drug coverage.
For information on the Medicare calendar, contact your local social security office or call the Medicare Helpline at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.
Y0066_110314_100759 File & Use 03222011