Medicare open enrollment dates are from November 15 to December 31. During the enrollment period make sure you select plans that provide you with the best coverage for all your healthcare needs. Make sure you do your homework on Medicare well before the open enrollment dates.
Medicare is a health insurance plan managed by the federal government and it has four parts to it. Medicare offers coverage to people who are 65 and above, those who have permanent disabilities and those who have end-stage renal disease.
The traditional Medicare plan consists of Plan A and Plan B. Plan A offers hospital coverage while Plan B takes care of payments to doctors, outpatient care, home healthcare and durable medical equipment. The other two parts of Medicare are Plan C and Plan D. Plan C is also known as Medicare Advantage Plan offers private insurance like HMO or PPO and people can choose to pay lower premiums by increasing out-of-pocket expenses for medical care. Part D is Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and this part was added very recently in 2006.
Once in a year, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to Plan D and this is known as open enrollment. The changes take effect from January 1 of the following year and cannot be changed until the next Medicare open enrollment dates which are from November 15 through December 31. However, changes should be made latest by December 8 to ensure that you get prescription drug coverage from January 1.
Changes to Plan A and Plan B cannot be made until March 31 and these changes stay locked until the open enrollment begins in November.
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