Important dates for Medicare beneficiares

BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Department of Insurance would like to remind Medicare beneficiaries who are under the age of 65 that they are eligible to purchase a Medicare Supplement (aka Medigap) policy with an effective date of January 1, 2018.   Medigap coverage can help pay some of the health care costs that original Medicare does not cover, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. 

The department strongly encourages beneficiaries who intend to purchase a Medigap policy with an effective date of January 1, 2018 to consider their Part D drug coverage and Part C Medicare Advantage options prior to the end of the Annual Enrollment Period on December 7, 2017.  

It also encourages beneficiaries to become informed of any possible penalties or loss of prescription coverage should they miss enrolling for Part D coverage before the end of the Annual Enrollment Period. 

The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period may also be an option for those wishing to leave their Medicare Advantage plan and purchase a Medigap policy.  The MA Disenrollment Period is January 1 – February 14.  During that period, eligible beneficiaries switching from an MA plan to original Medicare will also have an opportunity to purchase a Part D plan.   

The Department’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors counselors are available to answer questions and provide information to all Idahoans who are eligible for Medicare coverage.  Consumers are also encouraged to consult with a licensed insurance agent before purchasing coverage.

Anyone with questions about this or other Medicare issues are welcome to contact SHIBA at 800-247-4422.