Medicare 101: How to Sign Up for Part C and Part D
Although Medicare enrollment always begins with Medicare Part A (hospital) and Medicare Part B (medical), further coverage under Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D are essential to the security and peace of mind of many Americans.
I know why I should sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, but what coverage do Medicare Part C and Part D provide?
Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage) plans include Medicare Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans, Medicare Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans, Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans, and Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs).
Medicare Part D, meanwhile, was established by the federal government to subsidize prescription drug costs for people on Medicare.
How do I sign up for Medicare Part C and/or Part D?
You need to sign up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B first. If you’ve already done this, it’s easy to sign up for Part C and Part D. You can go to your local Social Security office to sign up, or you can save a lot of time by enrolling online here in a matter of minutes.
If you’re newly eligible for Medicare, you can sign up for Medicare Part C and Medicare Part D during your Initial Enrollment Period. If, like most Americans, you become eligible for Medicare at age 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before the month you turn 65 and ends three months after the month you turn 65. That means, for example, if your birthday is on June 15, your Initial Enrollment Period will be from March 1 until September 30. Also, note that if your birthday falls on the first of the month, your Medicare coverage can begin on the first of the month before your birthday.
What if don’t sign up for Part C or a prescription drug plan (Part D) during my Initial Enrollment Period?
You’ll have other opportunities. For example, if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B until the General Enrollment Period (January 1 – March 31) during a later year, you’ll be able to sign up for Medicare Part C and/or Part D benefits from April 1 to June 30 of that same year. You may also have the opportunity to sign up during certain Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) that can result if certain events take place in your life. MedicareMall will be happy to help you determine if and when you may be eligible for an SEP.
Is it necessary to sign up for Part C and Part D?
Not at all. These plans are optional, and it’s up to you to decide whether enrollment in Part C and/or Part D is right for you. Of course, MedicareMall is ready to help you make the most informed decision possible. Contact us now and let us put our two decades-plus of experience and expertise to work for you!