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medicare open enrollment

2016 Medicare Open Enrollment

Most people don’t realize that the 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Dates only apply to people who are wanting to make changes to their Medicare Advantage (Part C of Medicare) and prescription drug plan (Part D of Medicare). Each year, open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. Therefore in 2016 it will begin on October 15, 2015. That is the time for you to shop around for a new Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C of Medicare) or a new Prescription Drug plan (Part D of Medicare).

So first of, to be clear, as far as enrolling in Medicare, you can do that as soon as you are eligible … no matter what month it is. Most people become eligible when they turn 65, and begin enrolling in Part B up to 3 months before their 65th birthday month.

It is only during open enrollment that you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (Part C of Medicare), or vice versa. Also, if you find that another Medicare Advantage plan (Part C of Medicare) will fit your needs, or has a broader network, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan (Part C of Medicare) to another. Same with a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D), you can switch from one plan to another during open enrollment or drop your prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D) coverage altogether. However, you may incur penalties later on if you go without a prescription drug plan (Part D of Medicare) – we would not advise this. Especially since you can get prescription drug plans (Part D of Medicare) for generally under $20 a month.

Now for people who are on a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C of Medicare), who miss the open enrollment but who just want to go back to original Medicare, there is also a Medicare Advantage disenrollment period (MADP) that runs from January 1 to February 14 each year. At that time, you could opt to switch back to original Medicare and then sign up for a prescription only plan (Medicare Part D). Most people will do this if they are going from a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C of Medicare) to a Medicare Supplement Plan.

For 2015 coverage, open enrollment is over for Medicare. Medicare Advantage (Part C of Medicare) and prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D) ended on December 7, 2014, and the Medicare Advantage disenrollment period ended on February 14, 2015. Remember, you can enroll year-round in Medicare if you are newly-eligible.

For more information or to shop plans, visit us at www.emedigap411.com  call 877-740-8683 or email.

Important Deadlines

2016 Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Here are some important dates for the 2016 health insurance open enrollment dates:

  • November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment begins — This is the 1st day you can enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan
  • January 1, 2016: This is when the coverage will start if you enroll by December 15th.
  • January 31, 2016: Last day to enroll for 2016 coverage.

January 31, 2016 – FINAL DAY TO ENROLL

If you don’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 by January 31, 2016, you CAN’T enroll in a plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Penalty for not having coverage in 2016

If you don’t get coverage, or choose to go without coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fee. The fee is higher than it was in previous years. The fee for not having health coverage in 2016 ….

Shop for a 2016 health insurance plan now

Need a plan now, shop for a 2015 plan

2015 Texas healthcare open enrollment dates

Texas Healthcare Open Enrollment Dates

Texas are you ready?  It is almost that time of year again, the healthcare Open Enrollment period.  Since the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) was passed, how you buy health insurance has changed and got lot of people confused.  The open enrollment period for the health insurance is the only time when you can apply for a new policy.  Because of this small window, we have provided some key dates so you don’t miss out on these important deadlines.

Texas Healthcare Open Enrollment 4 Key Dates:

November 15, 2014 — Open Enrollment begins.

You can apply for a new plan at this time, keep your old plan or change your coverage.

December 15, 2014 — Enroll by the 15th for January 1 coverage.

If you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015, you have until December 15th to make your choice.  If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.

December 31, 2014 — Coverage ends for 2014 plans.

If you didn’t enroll by December 31st, you can still enroll up until February 15th, however your coverage may not start on January 1st.

February 15, 2015 — Last day to apply for 2015 coverage

If you do not apply by February 15, 2015 — before end of Open Enrollment, you won’t have another opportunity to enroll in an ACA plan unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.  This may result in penalties.

DON’T FORGET:

You do  have to apply during the healthcare open enrollment but you DO NOT have to apply on the marketplace or at healthcare.gov.  You CAN use an agent/agency to help you with the process and it doesn’t cost any extra to get advice from an agent.

You can always call us at 877-740-8683.

We are PPACA certified and premier agents with BCBS, Humana, Cigna, Aetna, Assurant, UHC, and many others.  We are also licensed in 28 states.

Plan Renewal Special Enrollment Period

While the Open Enrollment for Health Insurance has ended for 2014, there are still situations where an person can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have an Individual Health Insurance Policy that has a non-calendar year Renewal this year, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, or SEP. This could occur if you have a Grandfathered or non-Grandfathered transitional policy. If you receive a renewal notice from your Insurer, please give us a call at 877-740-8683, to discuss your options and find out if it is in your best interest to shop for a new policy. This SEP is in addition to the COBRA Special Enrollment Period , relating to Group Health Insurance, that will last until July 1st. There are also the regular Qualifying Life Events that will trigger an SEP. The Qualifying Life Events, or QLE’s, can include such things as gaining a dependent, through birth, marriage or adoption. If you lose Minimum Essential Coverage, through no fault of your own, this can also qualify for an SEP. This could result from a loss of a job, reduction in hours, divorce, or a permanent move. There are complex deadlines surrounding the triggering events. While most SEP’s have a 60 day day window, there are some with only 30 days. If you thing you might qualify for an SEP, please call 877-740-8683, or visit www.healthreformenrollmentcenter.com , to speak to a licensed Insurance Agent for a person evaluation of your situation. If you can’t qualify for an SEP, there are still options available for Short Term Insurance, and the 2015 Open Enrollment will start November 15th.

MedicareCard

I have Medicare, do I need to go to healthcare.gov?

All of our customers on Medicare Part A & B (or C) and possibly D are asking … “How is all this Obamacare gonna affect me?”

Well, no need to worry, you don’t need to do anything to your Medicare plan because it isn’t part of the healthcare.gov site.  If you have Medicare, you are basically already covered.

No matter how you get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement, or through a Medicare Advantage plan, (like an HMO or PPO) you don’t have to make any changes.

If you want to shop around for a Medicare Supplement plan or Medicare Advantage plan, you will not be able to shop rates on the Marketplace (healthcare.gov) … just give us a call and we can help you with that part or go to www.eMedigap411.com

If you only have Medicare Part B, most people do not know this, but you are not considered to have minimum essential coverage.  That means you would be subject to the penalty that people who don’t have coverage may have to pay.

If you only have Medicare Part A, you are considered covered, and of course if you have Part A and Part B you are covered.

One thing has changed and that is Medicare has expanded benefits for preventive care and drug coverage.   They now have free preventive benefits, cancer screenings, and annual wellness visits.  You can also save money while in the “donut hole” with discounts on brand-name prescriptions.  (No the donut hole is not a place to eat!  It is when your total drug costs reach a certain point while you are covered under a Medicare Part D Prescription drug plan.

If you are new to Medicare, here are some things to remember:
– Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (October 15-December 7)
– To learn more about your Medicare options visit www.eMedigap411.com

If you have any family and friends who don’t have health insurance, or if they want to see what their subsidy amount might be, tell them to call us or visit www.healthreformenrollmentcenter.com