Do you want to get the best deals on Medicare plans? Maybe you have a Medicare plan and you want to change it. Well, open enrollment is the time to do that and, Medicare open enrollment for 2017 starts on October 15th. It will end December 7th.
This enrollment period is not the same every year. Usually, it has a fixed date, but it can change for election years to accommodate what most people will be doing during that time period.
But what is open enrollment? It is a period where anyone can sign up for a new Medicare plan regardless of their medical status. In fact, their medical conditions won’t factor into the rates they would be charged for the plans. Those rates are independent of many factors, giving people the best opportunity they will have to get a great deal on Medicare plans.
Open enrollment is also an ideal time to switch plans. During this period, Medicare subscribers can switch from one plan to another without penalty. If they find that their current plan is costing them too much or isn’t covering their medical needs enough, they can make a switch without any additional fees. If they want to switch at any other time of the year, it may cost them quite a bit, and it might not be worth it in the end.
Open enrollment is only available for people who are 65 years and over. In other words, they have to first be eligible for a Medicare plan. They can’t pick out their plan during open enrollment and sign up for it later. They have to first be eligible, and if they aren’t, they can always wait until the next time open enrollment comes around, as it happens once every year.
Open enrollment applies to Medicare many plans- A, B, C and D. It does not apply to Medicaid and CHIOP, since you can apply to those at any time and still receive the same rates and benefits.
Another key feature of open enrollment that people need to be aware of is that anyone who applies for a Medicare plan during this time (and who is eligible) is guaranteed the plan they apply for. They cannot be turned down for any reason. There are some serious medical conditions that automatically exempt people from being eligible for some Medicare plans, so those need to be taken into account. But beyond the exceptions already written into the law, you cannot be denied for any other reason. The insurance company selling the plan cannot tell you that you don’t qualify for a Medicare plan during this period because of your medical condition, so long as it is within the established rules. They have to accept your application for the plan of your choice. Once again, they cannot factor in your preexisting medical conditions into the rate they give you.
Medicare open enrollment for 2017 will be here shortly, and you need to be prepared. You should know what your rights are and what the benefits of this period are before it arrives.
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