Medicare enrollment is typically reserved for the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and the General Enrollment Period (GEP) if you miss your IEP. However, there are special circumstances where you can join, switch, or drop plans outside of these designated enrollment periods. This time window is the Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
What Situations Qualify Me For Special Enrollment?
Special enrollment generally applies to situations where you have lost other coverage, moved to a new area, have an opportunity to obtain new coverage, or if your plan provider has a conflict with Medicare.
How Does The SEP Work For Losing Coverage?
Losing coverage generally applies to situations where you lose employer insurance coverage. In this case, you can join Medicare up to two months after coverage ends.
What If I Move To A New Area?
If you have Original Medicare, you won’t have to do anything besides update your address with your insurer. However, if you have Medicare Advantage or Part D, you may need to switch to a plan within your new network area.
If you alert your insurer before moving, the SEP lasts from the month before to two full months after you move. If you notify your insurer after moving, you’ll have two months after the month you inform them.
If you’re moving back to the United States, you have two full months to join a Medicare plan following your return.
How Does Special Enrollment Work If I Want To Drop Coverage In Favor Of Something Else?
You may have opportunities for other Medicare Advantage or Part D coverage if you move to a new address but are still within your current plan’s network area. You will have the same SEP as someone who moved out-of-network.
What Circumstances Related To My Insurer Qualify Me For Special Enrollment?
The SEP isn’t always because of a situation directly involving you. Sometimes, it’s what happens to your insurer that qualifies you.
If you have Medicare Advantage, and Medicare terminates its contract with your insurer, you can join a new plan from two months before the contract ends to one month after the contract ends.
If your insurer doesn’t renew its contract with Medicare, you can join another plan from December 8 to the final day in February.
Have Enrollment Questions? We’re Here To Help!
At Peritia Advisors, we are here to help you get the right Medicare plan no matter what your situation is. Suppose you’ve recently lost coverage or are interested in a new policy. In that case, we will put our best efforts into finding you the best possible plan within your specific Special Enrollment Period. To find out which Medicare plan works best for you, call us today at (319) 841-2010.