GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Medicare open enrollment period begins soon. Eligible people can start signing up Oct. 15.
We wanted to make sure you had all the information you needed to make the process easy. We spoke with insurance experts Catherine Sevier and Steve Edmonds. They answered common questions about how to get enrolled and avoid mistakes.
First, open enrollment ends December 10.
Enrollment for Medicare is time-sensitive. If you're eligible for Medicare when you turn 65, Medicare.gov said you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. The period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, it includes the month you turn 65 and ends three months after your birthday month.
If you miss that 7-month window, Sevier said you will suffer a 10% penalty every 12 months, and that penalty doesn't go away once you start.
Medicare Part A covers your inpatient hospital stays.
Medicare Part B is the premium that covers your doctor visits. The premium for this plan is decreasing by $5.20 per month.
Medicare Part D covers prescriptions.
Medigap is extra insurance you can get to cover co-pays, deductibles and travel.
AARP has a Medicare Question & Answer Tool. The tool clarifies eligibility and enrollment requirements and provides answers to questions on Medicare’s plan options, coverage, and costs in an easy-to-understand manner.
As a resource, you can also try Medicare.gov
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