Open Enrollment, Initial Enrollment, Annual Enrollment, what’s it all mean? We’ll break it down, and explain what it means to you and your health insurance coverage.
Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment
Your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment begins the first day of the month in which you turn 65 and lasts for six months. Don’t worry about forgetting these important dates. Insurance agents and companies will remind you. And you thought nobody cared about your birthday.
Initial Enrollment Period
Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) applies to your Original Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. This begins three months before the month you turn 65 and continues through your birthday month then another three months. Seven months total. For more information on your IEP and enrolling in Medicare see “Enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.”
Annual Enrollment Period
Your Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), also called Annual Election Period happens each year between October 15th and December 7th. During this window, you can make changes to your current coverage. For more details on changing your coverage during AEP see “Medicare Advantage Enrollment Periods.”
Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment is the Best Time to Buy
During your open enrollment, Medicare Supplements are guaranteed issue. This means an insurance company can’t deny you coverage regardless of your health. However, be aware that you may have a pre-existing waiting period. The waiting period cannot be longer than six months and does vary by company.
Don’t Wait Until Your Open Enrollment to Buy a Medigap Plan
You can purchase a Medigap Plan months ahead with an effective date that starts on the first day of your Open Enrollment. By purchasing in advance, you are guaranteed consistent coverage starting on your first day of eligibility.