Every senior has different needs and circumstances when it comes to Medicare coverage. That is why a variety of enrollment periods were designed. Each enrollment period accounts for certain circumstances in order to ensure that all seniors receive the coverage they need when they need it.
With so many different enrollment periods, deadlines and due dates, it can be tricky to keep up with all the requirements and regulations for Medicare. It is very important to understand what all the different enrollment periods mean so you can receive what is right for you. Taking the time to do some research on the different enrollment periods can save you money and ensure that you have coverage when you need it. If you don’t apply during the correct time frame, you may have to pay late fees. Today we will be breaking down Special Enrollment Periods, just one of the many time frames in which you may be eligible to enroll in Medicare. There is a lot to understand about each different enrollment period. Make sure to check out our blog post on all medicare enrollment periods to learn more.
What is the Medicare Special Enrollment Period For Part B?
Medicare Part B covers doctors visits, preventative services and much more more. So it’s important to make sure you have coverage. Knowing the things can happen in life that disrupt your Part B coverage, the Medicare Special Enrollment period is designed to allow individuals extra time to enroll due to extenuating circumstances. Some of these circumstances include moving, losing your current coverage and having an opportunity to change your coverage. If you are eligible for the Special Enrollment Period, then you can enroll in Medicare Part B outside of the Initial Enrollment Period or the General Enrollment Period. In short, you get to delay your enrollment in Medicare Part B without having to wait for the General Enrollment Period and without having to pay a 10% premium for late enrollment.
Top Qualifications for Medicare Part B Special Enrollment
Special Enrollment: Losing Employment
One of the main reasons you would likely be granted access to a Special Enrollment Period is if you or your spouse is currently employed and currently receive healthcare coverage from the employer. A Special Enrollment Period allows you to receive Medicare coverage once you stop receiving coverage from the employer.
This eight-month period is made available mainly to those whose healthcare is currently covered by their or their spouse’s employer. The enrollment period begins the month after you or your spouse’s employment ends or when your healthcare coverage ends, whichever is first. The Special Enrollment Period is designed to save you from having to pay a late enrollment fee.
Special Enrollment: Other Reasons
There are other reasons that you may be permitted to enroll during a Special Enrollment Period. For instance, if you have recently moved or if your plan changes to your disadvantage, you may be eligible. A Special Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your Medicare Plan, like adding Part D or switching from Medicare Advantage to an original Medicare Plan. There are different rules and regulations depending on your reason for having a Special Enrollment Period. It is important to check with your healthcare provider, so you are entirely aware of what your Special Enrollment Period implies.
You may also use your Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare Part A. If you have worked for 10 years and have paid Medicare taxes, then you may already have Part A. If you don’t have enough work history and have delayed enrollment due to employer-sponsored coverage, then you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A during the Special Enrollment Period. It is important to be aware of this because if you don’t enroll during the Special Enrollment Period, you could be charged a late-enrollment premium.
Am I eligible for the Medicare Special Enrollment Period?
Only certain individuals are eligible to apply for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period. If you are 65 or older and currently have a healthcare plan provided by either you or your spouse’s employer, you are eligible for the Special Enrollment Period. When you stop receiving coverage from the employer, your Special Enrollment Period will begin.
Special Enrollment: Special Circumstances
There are several other circumstances that could make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Those who receive Social Security disability benefits also have access to a Special Enrollment Period. You may also be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period if you have recently moved and your plan’s coverage changes, or if you lose your current coverage for whatever reason. You may be eligible specifically for Part D Coverage through a Special Enrollment Period if you move to an area which your plan does not serve, if you move in or out of a nursing home or if your plan changes and no longer covers you. One important thing to note is that if you are signed up for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), you are ineligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider to understand your eligibility for a Special Enrollment Period.
Medicare Part B Special Enrollment Length
The Special Enrollment Period lasts for eight months. If you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period but miss out on enrolling in Medicare during the eight-month period, you must wait until the General Enrollment Period, which lasts from January 1 through March 31 every year. You may face penalties for enrolling late. Be sure to mark your calendars to remind yourself to enroll in Medicare at the appropriate time to avoid any added fees.
It can be confusing to figure out which Enrollment Period you are eligible for and there are many reasons as to why you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Take into account all the details of your circumstances. Depending on your situation, your Special Enrollment Period may look a little different from someone else’s. If you believe you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare, contact your healthcare provider for more details.
Remember that it is vital to understand when you can and should enroll in Medicare so you can receive the right coverage at the right time. Be sure to do research on the different enrollment periods and talk to a professional if you are unsure which enrollment period you qualify for.