Medicare benefits are an excellent resource for addressing the healthcare needs of Americans aged 65 and older. While Original Medicare benefits may vary from state to state, Part A generally covers certain inpatient services such as hospital stays. Additionally, Part B covers some outpatient medical needs, such as ambulance services or medical equipment. To obtain further health coverage, many Americans also purchase additional coverage under Medicare Advantage plans. Changes in 2019 have added a new opportunity for those enrolled in Medicare Advantage to make changes to their healthcare coverage.
6. Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage plans fill in some of the gaps in healthcare coverage left by Original Medicare. There are limited enrollment periods in which one is able to sign up for new coverage or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. In 2019, a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP) has launched. This new enrollment period replaces the former Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. There are now three enrollment periods eligible Americans can use to enroll or make changes to their coverage.
5. Initial Enrollment Period
According to the U.S. Medicare website, the initial enrollment period for Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans opens when you reach the age of 65. This seven-month period begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes that month, and continues for the three months following your birth month. In addition to turning 65, individuals may become eligible for Medicare and Medicare Advantage if they are disabled. Some individuals may become eligible for Medicare Advantage if they have been eligible for Medicare due to a disability and are now approaching their 65th birthday.