With roughly 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 each day, those soon to be eligible for Medicare must grapple with a complicated and confusing process to enroll in Medicare and Medicare related programs.

You can sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) as early as three months before the month you turn 65, or as late as three months after. However, once you miss the three months before, you risk being uninsured and/or incur a penalty. The exception: If you’re still covered by your employer, or your spouse’s, you can delay enrolling without a penalty.

The decisions do not end with your Initial Enrollment Period. Medicare has an Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) between Oct. 15th and Dec. 7th every year, for beneficiaries wanting to make a plan change to their healthcare or Part (D) drug plan. There is also a separate Open Enrollment Period (OEP) running from Jan 1st through Mar 31st just for Medicare Advantage plan enrollees. 

Everyone’s situation is different - Their health is different, the medicines they take are different, their marital status is different. Some may still be working or are covered by their spouse’s employer-sponsored health insurance with 20 or more employees. We are here to help you make those important decisions when it comes to your healthcare in retirement. If not done correctly and at the right time, you can select the wrong coverage or even incur lifelong penalties.

Medicare has four parts and coordinates with private health insurance.

Part A pays for in-patient hospital care, skilled nursing, and home health care.

There is no monthly premium for those who paid in for at least 10 years through paycheck deductions.

Part B covers outpatient medical services, such as visits to doctors and emergency rooms, tests, and procedures.

Part C, Medicare Advantage plan, are private health insurance plans approved by the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) that usually include a Part D prescription drug plan.

Part D, Prescription Drug coverage allows beneficiaries to purchase prescription drug plans from private insurers, usually in conjunction with a Medicare Supplement plan.

For those individuals looking for an alternative to a Medicare Advantage plan, there are Medicare Supplement plans (Medi-Gap) available. These plans fill in the gaps of original Medicare Parts A and B.


Medicare Planning Services are offered through a partnerhip agreement with Charter Financial.