As Americans are living longer, we are also working longer. Many of us work past the age of 65 and continue to have group health coverage through our employers. This may alleviate the need to enroll in Medicare Part B until retirement time.
If this scenario describes you, there are differences in your enrollment periods that you should be aware of. Your Initial Coverage Election Period changes for enrollment into an Advantage Plan (with or without prescription drugs included). You will only be able to enroll during the three months before the start date of your part B coverage. You may qualify for a Special Election Period based on loss of employer coverage which can include the month of your coverage loss, and the two months after.
If you are interested in a Stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), there are also changes to your enrollment period. You may no longer qualify for the Initial Enrollment Period; however you may qualify for the Special Enrollment Period based on the loss of employer coverage. This period would also include the month you lose your employer coverage as well as the two months after.
If you are interested in a Supplement, you will be eligible for open enrollment, which continues for six months after your Part B start date.
Please keep in mind that the above is a general description of how a delay in your Part B coverage can affect your enrollment periods. Each person can have a unique situation. AMAC strongly recommends that if you have delayed your Part B, or are considering delaying your Part B for any reason, that you contact Medicare at 800-MEDICARE, or Social Security at 800-772-1213 to inquire about your exact scenario and how your delayed Part B may affect you.