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December 21, 2021
Do You Have to Enroll in Medicare Every Year?

Do You Have to Enroll in Medicare Every Year?

When you’re already happily enrolled in a Medicare plan, enrollment periods throughout the year can be confusing. Do you have to enroll again? How often do you have to enroll?

Today, we’re going to answer all your questions on Medicare enrollment to help you know when and if you need to reenroll or renew your service.  

Do I have to enroll in Medicare every year?  

The short answer is no, you do not have to enroll in Medicare every year. Once you have signed up for a Medicare plan, you can stick with it for as long as you are happy with the coverage.  

If you haven’t received a notice that your coverage is changing or some aspect of your plan is ending, it can keep going unattended for as long as you want. The only exception is if you stop paying your premiums.

That said, we recommend you review your Medicare coverage at least once a year to ensure you are receiving the coverage you need at the most competitive pricing. Medical needs change with time, and what you needed a year or more ago might look different than what you need now.  

How often do you have to enroll in Medicare?

Generally speaking, once you’ve enrolled in Medicare, you don’t have to do it again unless you change your coverage or you are enrolled in a plan that is no longer being carried by your provider.

As long as you remain current on your payments, you will remain enrolled in the plan you choose for as long as you want to be in that plan.  

Do I have to decline my Medicare coverage every year?

If you choose to decline Medicare coverage, you are free to make that choice. However, declining Medicare coverage may increase your late enrollment penalties when and if you do decide to enroll if you did not have sufficient, credible coverage during that time.

We recommend reaching out to a licensed insurance agent or to the Social Security office for more details. Our team here at Medicare Allies can help you compare your options for enrolling in Medicare or choosing alternative coverage, such as staying on an employer group plan.

Are you automatically reenrolled in Medicare?

In most circumstances, you will be automatically reenrolled in your Medicare plan. The only reason why that might not be the case is if your plan is ending, the company your plan goes through is no longer in business, or if you have missed more than three months of payments in a row.

Even though it is automatic, you should still review your plan information annually. In September every year, you will receive an Annual Notice of Change (commonly shortened to ANOC) that will cover all the changes your plan will have in the next calendar year.

Do I have to enroll or renew Medicare Part A every year?

For most people, Medicare Part A is premium-free and once you have it, you don’t have to do anything to reenroll or renew your plan to keep your coverage. Once you’re enrolled, you have it.

If you are receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A.

Do I have to enroll or renew Medicare Part B every year?

Medicare Part B will continue as long as you are paying your insurance premiums. For most people, these fees are subtracted for your Social Security payments. If you do not receive Social Security, Medicare sends a bill.  

If you miss three payments in a row, you will receive a cancellation notice. If you do not pay what is due at that time, your plan will get cancelled, and you will have to wait until the next general enrollment period (which goes from January until the end of March every year) to get your Part B reinstated. Just be aware that you will likely have a penalty fee at that time.  

Do I have to enroll or renew my Medicare Supplement every year?

Much like Medicare Part B, as long as you remain up-to-date on your payments, you can keep your Medicare Supplement (also called a Medigap Policy) indefinitely.  

There are some circumstances where you may be asked to change your coverage, like if the company your plan is through goes out of business. But you will receive notice if such an occasion occurs.  

If you want to know more about Medicare Supplement renewals, check out this previous post that looks at Medigap renewals in more detail.  

Do I have to enroll or renew my Medicare Advantage plan every year?

Your Medicare Advantage plan automatically reenrolls annually for as long as the company offers your plan. However, you have opportunities throughout the year to alter your coverage or drop it if you so choose.  

Most people use the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which is from October 15 to December 7 every year, to make changes to their Medicare Advantage plan.

There is also a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31 every year, where you can change your mind about any enrollment decisions you made during AEP.

To learn more about Medicare Advantage, check out this article.

Do I have to enroll or renew my Medicare Part D Drug Plan every year?

No, you do not have to enroll or renew a Part D Drug Plan every year. However, we highly recommend reviewing your options for Part D coverage every year.  

Plans change, and what works this year might not next year. It might have raised prices or no longer covers all your prescriptions. Always review your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) to make sure your plan still fits your needs.  

Conclusion

Even if you do not have to enroll every year, you should still be reevaluating your Medicare needs every year. We are here to help you enroll, review, renew and change your coverage to fit your needs.  

Give a call today for help with your Medicare plan. We can help you through enrollment, plan reviews and budgeting your healthcare costs. We are here to help you.  

Luke Hockaday
By
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Medicare Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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