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If your health coverage needs have changed because of a certain life event or special circumstance, then you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, where you may be able to enroll or change your Medicare coverage. Examples of these life events include retirement, moving to a new address or losing your current insurance coverage.
To see a list of all qualifying events, visit Medicare.gov.
Dignity Health wants to help you avoid any gaps in your insurance coverage so we are pleased to offer a free service from eHealth, an independent insurance agency, to help you easily review coverage options and compare plans. eHealth provides this assistance at no-cost to you and there is no obligation to enroll in a plan. Their licensed insurance agents will help you understand your coverage options, including the plans we accept at Dignity Health.
Call eHealth’s Dignity Health Helpline to speak to a licensed insurance agent.
If you already have a licensed insurance agent, you may want to follow up with them for more information.
To enroll in Medicare for the very first time, you may need to contact Social Security directly to learn about your Part A and Part B (Original Medicare) benefits, if you haven’t already done so. You’ll get information about what the different Parts cover, what you’re eligible for, when it will go into effect, and other important details. It’s recommended you do this before your 65th birthday to avoid lapse in coverage and avoid any late enrollment penalties.
Upon contacting Social Security, you should receive a packet in the mail from Medicare before you turn 65.
You can enroll in Medicare online, in person at your local Social Security office, or by calling (800) 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Things to remember about the Initial Enrollment Period:
Once you enroll, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the regulatory body who manages Medicare, will send you a packet in the mail with your Medicare card and a handbook with important information about Medicare coverage choices.
If you’ve passed your Initial Enrollment Period, which is a 7 month time frame that includes the 3 months before your 65th birthday, your birthday month and 3 months after your birthday, you may need to wait for a qualifying event to be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, or wait for the Annual Election Period to do so.
Ready to take the next step? Speak with a licensed insurance agent from eHealth for more information. You may also reach out to your existing insurance agent to review your options.
eHealthMedicare.com is a non-government website operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency that sells Medicare products and does business as eHealth. eHealthMedicare.com and eHealth are not affiliated or connected with Medicare or any other government program or agency. eHealth offers plans from a number of insurance companies.