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What Is the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare 2019?

Author: Casey Chesterfield
by Casey Chesterfield
Posted: Jul 18, 2019
enrollment periods

Medicare plans are federal insurance healthcare programs for the elderly. They are offered by Medicare, a health arm of the government, and usually provide coverage for certain aspects of healthcare. Depending on the type of coverage you have, a plan could cover any or all of the following services.

Medicare part A or hospital insurance covers hospital admissions and stays in a nursing home for services like in-home hospice care in Hanover, PA. It usually costs about $437 a month, but under certain terms and conditions, you could get a lower rate or even get it for free. You get plan A free if you paid medicare taxes when you were working.

Medicare part B or medical insurance covers doctor fees and medical supplies. It usually costs $135 per month and it covers 80 percent of costs.

Types of medicare plans

Medicare health plans are usually offered by private companies, hospitals, and insurance companies, and they liaise with Medicare to provide healthcare services to people with medicare subscriptions.

There are a number of medicare plans that you can choose from. The following are only a few.

Original medicare

This plan includes Medicare plan A and plan B. It is handled by the government and provides health care services to individuals enrolled in it. Plan holders may receive services from hospitals that run a medicare program. Medicare pays for healthcare services up to a certain limit, usually about 80 percent, and the plan holder pays the remainder. This plan has its deficiencies, as it does not cover eye care, ear care and hearing aids, acupuncture, foot care, dental and dentures, and care outside the US. You can easily find out the extent of your medical coverage.

Medicare advantage plan

Medicare advantage plan, also called plan C, is a plan that offers additional medical services to the coverage of an original medicare plan. It is offered by private insurance companies who liaise with Medicare to cover part A and B with some added benefits. One benefit is that this plan covers payments for part A and B completely. Another is that you could also get prescription drug coverage.

This plan, however, limits you to a list of hospitals, doctors, and specialists you can receive services from, and receiving care from anyone outside that list would require you pay the total amount yourself, with the exception of emergency situations.

Medigap supplemental insurance

This is a plan offered by insurance companies to support medicare original plans by helping you pay your share of medical costs covered by the original medicare plan. This plan is also used in conjunction with the original plan to cover services that the original plan does not, such as care outside the US. It is a monthly subscription program that requires you to have an ongoing subscription to medicare plan B— you usually get plan A for free. Medigap plans do not cover all medical services and cannot be obtained to supplement other plans like the advantage plan. Examples of services medigap does not cover include prescription drugs, eye/vision services, ear care, and dental care.

Prescription drug coverage

Also called medicare part D, prescription drug coverage is offered by insurance companies and involves a monthly subscription fee. It also involves copayment on drugs— where you pay a certain amount for each drug, or coinsurance for each drug. Drug coverage can be received either on its own as an additional plan (medicare part D) or by getting an advantage plan that covers prescription drugs.

Open enrollment periods for medicare

There are enrollment periods where you can subscribe to or change a particular plan. There are the initial enrollment periods and open enrollment periods.

Initial enrollment periods are yearly periods when individuals who are eligible for medicare plans can enroll without attracting extra fees on account of lateness.

Open enrollment periods, or OEP for Medicare, are periods where you can switch from one medicare plan to another. Sites like Easy Medicare allow users to receive quotes for Medicare rates, to help with their switch from one plan to another.

For the medicare advantage plan, the initial enrollment period runs for seven months. The fourth month should be the month of your 65th birthday. The open enrollment period, for switching from an original plan to an advantage plan and vise versa, runs from the 15th of October until the 7th of December, in 2019.

For switching from one advantage plan to another, the open enrollment period runs from the 1st of January until the 31st of March, in 2019

For drug coverage open enrollment period, where you can switch between prescription drug plans or enroll in a new one, runs from the 15th of October till the 7th of December, in 2019.

Keep these dates in mind to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines for enrollment.

About the Author

Freelance writer with BA in English from Binghamton.

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Author: Casey Chesterfield

Casey Chesterfield

Member since: Jun 07, 2019
Published articles: 19

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