Health insurance is more important and more complicated than ever. One of these complications takes shape in the form of open enrollment periods. What are they, when are they, and how do you take advantage of them?
Medicare’s open enrollment varies based on both which kind of Medicare you need and on your age. For the three months before and the three months after you turn 65, you can enroll in all parts of Medicare. If you’re drawing Social Security, you’ll be enrolled in parts A and B automatically, and the coverage will actually begin one month before your birthday.
If you are required to pay for Medicare part A, you may have to pay a late enrollment fee if you miss the window. The same applies to Medicare parts B, C, and D, which all share the same enrollment window around your 65th birthday. Should you miss that initial enrollment period, you can sign up between January and March of each year, but your coverage won’t kick in until July. If you want to make changes to your coverage or dis-enroll completely, you can do so from October to December. Hard to keep track? They have more information here.
If you still have a job that offers insurance, you’ll enroll when you get hired and be offered the opportunity to add dependents once a year. If you don’t and you’re under 65, you may want to obtain insurance through the Federal Marketplace. Depending on your income, you may even qualify to receive a tax credit. You can find out at any time by putting your information into www.healthcare.gov, but you won’t be able to enroll unless it’s between the months of November and January, or if you have special circumstances.
While health insurance goes a long way, it has costs associated with it, and it isn’t guaranteed to cover your needs. If you’re concerned about rising medical expenses, you could consider a life settlement to provide yourself a financial cushion. By selling a life insurance policy in a life settlement, not only will you get a lump sum of cash, you’ll save yourself the expense of your premium. Visit our calculator to see if you qualify!