March 31 is Medicare enrollment deadline for some

Passages HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program) is advising that March 31 is the last day for enrollment decisions for some people eligible for Medicare.

Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP): Jan. 1 to March 31: This is the enrollment period for individuals who missed their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) or Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to sign up for Part A and/or Part B through the Social Security Administration (SSA), with coverage starting July 1. This deadline is particularly important for those who are not entitled to Premium-free Part A, and may be eligible for a program to help pay for the premium.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP): Jan. 1 to March 31: This is the period where Medicare beneficiaries who were enrolled in 2020 in a Medicare Advantage plan and still have it, can go back to Original (regular) Medicare, or to another Medicare Advantage plan, if available in their county. This does not apply to individuals with retiree healthcare coverage from a former employer.

Questionable marketing information and television commercials from insurance companies are targeting Medicare beneficiaries. Ronda Kramer, program director for Passages HICAP, warns that signing up with the wrong plan may cost Medicare recipients thousands of dollars, and they may not be able to make changes if enrollment deadlines are missed.

For more information or to make a counseling appointment with a State registered counselor, call HICAP at PASSAGES at 1-800-434-0222, or locally at 530-898-6716. HICAP does not sell or endorse any insurance products.
PASSAGES, a service of California State University, Chico, supports the lives of adults in the communities it serves. For more information about PASSAGES services go to www.passagescenter.org.