Enrolling in Medicare Advantage: What You Need to Know
Now that you have decided that Medicare Advantage is an option worth exploring, you may be wondering what the next steps are to signing up. While the steps for signing up are simple, there are a few key points to remember during the enrollment process. Below is a list of what you need to know when you enroll in Medicare Advantage.
You Will Need to Be Enrolled in Original Medicare
To qualify for Medicare Advantage, you will need to have already been enrolled in Medicare A and/or B plans. When signing up for your chosen Advantage plan, you will be asked to provide the information contained on your Medicare card, including your Medicare number and the start date of your Plan A and or/B coverage.
Find the Plan That Works for You
Not all of the Medicare Advantage plans are the same, and choosing the one that fits with your specific needs and healthcare concerns, will require a quick review of the available plans. Start by paying a visit to the Medicare website and use the Medicare Plan Finder. Here you will be able to find information about the different coverage options available in various Medicare Advantage plans.
Enroll With Your Chosen Plan
Proceed to the website of your chosen plan to find out more about the enrollment process. Some websites will allow you to join the plan online, while others may require you to fill out a physical enrollment form and send it in. If you are unsure how to proceed with enrollment, contact the plan helpline, or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
Understand Enrollment Periods
Unfortunately, you will not be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan at any time. While you will have to enroll in your original Medicare plans within seven months after turning 65, or directly after group health benefits expire if you are over 65, there is a specific enrollment period when you may choose to add Medicare advantage. You may opt for a Medicare Advantage plan during your initial enrollment into Medicare or during the designated open enrollment period each year. Open enrollment is from January 1st through March 31st. At this time, you are allowed to add on a Medicare Advantage plan or choose to change to a different one.
Beware of Unsolicited Plan Calls
Unless you have specifically asked to be called to enroll in a plan, the Medicare plan will not call you. And, if you di request a call, they will not ask for any type of financial information to be given over the phone. If you receive an unsolicited phone call or have someone calling asking for financial information over the phone, contact 1-800-MEDICARE.
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