After the Medicare open enrollment 2020 period comes to an end, the 2021 coverage will come in handy. Below is our 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment Guide that will walk you through enrollment dates, tips for choosing a plan, and more.
When will Medicare Open Enrollment for 2021 Coverage?
Medicare open enrollment is also called Medicare’s annual election period. Medicare open enrollment dates run from October 15 through December 7 every year. During this period, Medicare plan enrollees can reassess their coverage – whether it is original Medicare with drug coverage or Medicare Advantage – and make changes or decide to purchase new policies if they want to do so.
What you Cannot do During the Medicare Open Enrollment
The annual Medicare open enrollment period, including the Medicare enrollment 2020 does not apply to Medigap plans. It is worth noting that the Medigap plans are only guaranteed-issue in most states during a beneficiary’s initial enrollment period as well as during limited special enrollment periods.
If you failed to enroll in Medicare when you were first eligible, you cannot use the fall open enrollment period to enroll. Alternatively, you will use the Medicare general enrollment period that runs from January 1 to March 31.
Medicare’s general enrollment period is for people who failed to sign up for Medicare Part B when they were first eligible. Moreover, it is also for those who do not have access to a Medicare Part B special enrollment period. It is also for people who have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A and did not enroll in Part A when they were first eligible.
Your coverage will take effect July 1 if you enroll during the general enrollment period.
For a majority of Americans, Medicare eligibility goes hand in hand with turning 65. However, some people become eligible for Medicare earlier. A majority of Medicare beneficiaries receive Medicare Part A without a monthly premium. On the other hand, some have to pay for it. Besides, some beneficiaries may pay more than the standard amount for their Medicare Part B and Part D coverage.
Enrolling in Original Medicare
If you are already getting Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits and you are a U.S. resident, the federal government automatically enrolls you in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B at age 65. You will receive your Medicare card in the mail about three months before you turn 65, and your Medicare coverage will take effect the first of the month you turn 65.
Nonetheless, Medicare Part B has a monthly premium. The monthly premium is projected to be about $153.30/month in 2021. The amount will be deducted from your Social Security or Railroad Retirement lump sum.
You can opt-out of Part B and avoid the premiums. However, it is only a good idea to do that if you have health insurance from your current employer or your spouse’s current employer and the employer has not less than 20 employees.
Your Medicare coverage will start automatically in the 25th month that you are receiving disability benefits if you are disabled and receiving Social Security Disability benefits. You do not have to wait two years to get Medicare if you have ALS or end-stage renal disease.
Enrolling in Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage open enrollment period 2020 is now over. Everyone is waiting for the 2021 period. To enroll in the Medicare Advantage Plan, you must have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage and live in an area where an Advantage plan is offered.
Notably, a Medicare Advantage plan will wrap your Medicare Part A and Part B (and, in most cases, Part D) coverage into one plan. However, you will still have to pay the government a premium for Part B, in addition to the premium you pay for Medicare Advantage. That may be $0, depending on the plan.
A Medicare beneficiary’s income may affect the premiums they pay for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D. The income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA) is a surcharge added to premiums for Medicare Part D Part B if a beneficiary has an income of more than $87,000. This amount may increase to about $174,000 for a married couple). It is worth noting that these income limits apply in Medicare open enrollment 2020 and are indexed for inflation. For 2021, they are projected to be $88,000 for one person and $176,000 for a couple.
For more information, contact health insurance today.