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How to Sign Up for Medicare Advantage

Navigating the Medicare landscape can be challenging for many enrollees. However, with Ensurem, you can connect with licensed professionals who are ready to help you find the right Medicare Advantage Plan that suits your needs. So read on if you want to know how to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Step 1: Understand the Basics of Medicare Coverage

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for the following groups of people:

  • People age 65 or older
  • Young people with a qualifying disability
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), aka permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant.

Medicare is divided into two parts: Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), these two parts are also known as Original Medicare.

In addition to Original Medicare, there are Medicare insurance plans sold by private insurance companies endorsed by the U.S Government. These private insurance plans are Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Medicare Part D). Medicare Advantage Plans includes everything Original Medicare covers and often includes additional benefits like prescription drugs, dental, vision and hearing.

Step 2: Determine Your Eligibility for Medicare Advantage Plans

Typically, you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare if you’re at least 65 years old, or you’re under 65 and receiving Social Security disability benefits. In some cases, individuals eligible for state Medicaid programs may also qualify.

Also, people with permanent kidney failure, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), can get Medicare no matter their age.

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Step 3: Know Your Enrollment Periods

There are several key enrollment periods to be aware of:

  • Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – This is a 7-month window that begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends three months after the month you turn 65.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – This occurs every year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, change Medicare Advantage Plans or switch back to Original Medicare.
  • Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) – This happens when certain events occur in your life, such as moving or losing other health coverage. These are known as qualifying life events.

Step 4: Choose Your Medicare Advantage Plan

There are several types of Medicare Advantage plans including HMOs, PPOs, Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) and others. Each plan has different costs and rules. You’ll need to decide which plan is best for your health needs and budget.

Step 5: Enroll in Your Selected Plan

Once you’ve chosen a plan, you can enroll either through the insurance provider offering the plan or by contacting Ensurem.

Remember, if you need help at any point during this process, don’t hesitate to contact Ensurem. Our team of licensed professionals is here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring that you get the Medicare coverage that best suits your needs.

Keep in mind that Medicare Advantage Plans can change from year to year, so it’s important to review your plan annually to ensure it still meets your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Enrolling in Medicare Advantage

1. What is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, often referred to as AEP, is an annual window when those with Medicare can modify their coverage. Each year, this period spans from October 15th to December 7th.

2. What is a Medicare Part?

Medicare Parts means the various coverage categories within the Medicare program. Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance, Part B gives medical insurance, Part C, also referred to as Medicare Advantage, presents a different approach to obtaining your Medicare benefits, and Part D covers prescription drugs.

3. What is a Medicare Contract?

A Medicare contract is an agreement between the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and an insurance company. This allows the insurance company to offer Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Prescription Drug Plans (Part D).

4. What is a Medicare Advantage HMO?

A Medicare Advantage Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan is a type of Medicare Advantage Plan offered by private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. In most HMOs, you can only go to doctors, specialists or hospitals on the plan’s list except in an emergency.

5. Can I enroll in Medicare Advantage if I’m receiving Social Security benefits?

Yes, if you have Medicare Part A and Part B, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan regardless of whether you’re receiving Social Security benefits.

6. Can I enroll in Medicare Advantage if I qualify for a state Medicaid program?

Yes, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan if you’re eligible for Medicare and you qualify for your state’s Medicaid program.

7. How does Medicare enrollment work?

Medicare enrollment periods are when you can sign up for or make changes to your Medicare coverage. The Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) is when you first become eligible for Medicare. There are also annual and special enrollment periods for making changes.

8. How can I compare plans to find the right one for my health care needs?

You can call Ensurem to connect with licensed professionals who can help you compare plans based on factors like costs, benefits, drug coverage and provider network. If you prefer to search at your own speed, Ensurem has an online Medicare Advantage Comparison Tool.

9. How do I enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan?

You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during the appropriate enrollment period by signing up through the insurance company offering the plan, using the Medicare Plan Finder, or by contacting Ensurem for assistance.

Ensurem’s team of licensed insurance agents are standing by to help you through the Medicare maze. When you call, our agent gets to know you and your needs so they can recommend plans tailored to you and your budget.

Are you more of an online shopper? Check out Ensurem’s online comparison tool and see the plans available in your area, even enroll 100% online.

Ensurem Trusted Expertise

Education is crucial in finding the right Medicare solution for you. With so many Medicare resources out there, it can be difficult finding a source you can trust. That’s why Ensurem has a Compliance Program dedicated to ensuring our Medicare content meets Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations. So, you can rest assured you’re getting the information you need to make the right coverage decisions.

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Denise Austin, 65, Ensurem Ambassador

Best-Selling Author, Creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine

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