Medicare is a well-oiled machine that can sometimes be hard to figure out. You may have signed up just fine when you turned 65, but the coverage you purchased at that time may not be up to snuff for your current medical needs. If that sounds like you, you may wonder when you can switch your plan. There are several situations in which you can change your plan, some of which are as follows.
Open enrollment happens each year for about 6 weeks from the beginning of November to the middle of December. During this time, anyone who wants to can change their advantage or drug plan to another without any underwriting or waiting periods. Underwriting is when you are allowed to switch, but there are specific things that are not covered for a certain period of time. Basically, you are allowed to switch with reservations that can make things hard for you. Even if you are not positive you want to switch your plan, open enrollment should be a crucial time of investigation each year to ensure that you are getting the best deal possible.
Special Enrollment Periods
A special enrollment period is when you are individually allowed a time to switch your plan because of something that has happened in your life. Examples of special enrollment periods are as follows.
Change In Residency
If you have recently moved to a new state or area of coverage, your previous plan may not cover doctors in your new area, making things difficult for you. You can discover if you are eligible for a special enrollment period on medicare.gov.
Additional Coverage Options
Sometimes things may happen that allow you additional coverage that you were not eligible for in the past. For example, your spouse could get insurance from their work that would limit the amount of coverage you need from Medicare. Or perhaps you have lost a job so you are suddenly eligible for Medicaid. Additional coverage options can allow you a special enrollment period.
In conclusion, if you find that you do not have sufficient coverage, talk to a Medicare professional near you to see if you qualify for a special enrollment period. It could definitely be worth it to ask simple questions that lead to you getting better coverage and saving money. If you are not sure who to talk to in your area, you could search out Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) volunteers in your area.