May 16

Medicare Election Period Frequently Asked Questions



We get a lot of questions about the Medicare Election Period here at Tidewater Management Group. Here are some of the questions that we are asked most often. 

Q: What are the Medicare Election Period enrollment dates?

A: ​October 15 through December 7

​Q: When can agents start marketing?

A: October 1​

Q: How long do I have to send an application after completing it?

A: In order to be in compliance with CMS, all applications must be submitted within 48 hours.

Q: How do I get supplies?

A: Give us a call at Tidewater Management Group (888-622-9122) and we'll get you set up with everything you need. You can also fill out this quick online form.

Q: What is the deadline to certify Medicare Advantage?

A: It depends on the carrier, but we make sure to keep an up-to-date certification section on our website to give you all the dates.

Q: How do I learn how to search covered drugs and provider networks per carrier?

A: Give us a call and we will show you how!

Q: How can I make money during AEP so I don't have to go without cashflow until January to get paid for my Medicare plans?

A: Medicare Advantage agents get paid the next year for their production during this OEP. However, if you write Hospital Indemnity, Cancer, Heart Attack & Stroke, and Medicare Supplement products you will get paid immediately.

Q: When are the Part A and B sign up periods?

A: When your client is first eligible for Medicare, he or she will have a seven-month initial enrollment period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B. For example, if your client is eligible for Medicare when he or she turns 65, they can sign up during the seven-month period which:

  1. Begins 3 months before the month he or she turns 65
  2. Includes the month that he or she turns 65
  3. Ends 3 months after he or she turns 65

In most cases, if your client doesn't sign up for Medicare Part B when he or she is eligible, then they will have to pay a late enrollment penalty when they do sign up. 

Q: What qualifies as a Special Enrollment Period?

A: Changes can be made to Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain life events happen, such as when a client moves or loses other insurance coverage. Rules about when changes can be made and the type of changes that can be made are different for each SEP.

  1. Your client moved or was released from jail
  2. Your client loses his or her current coverage because they are no longer eligible, left coverage from an employer or union, or drops his or her coverage through a Medicare Cost Plan or a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) plan.
  3. Your client has a chance to get other coverage
  4. Your client's plan changes its contract with Medicare

Other special situations include eligibility for both Medicare and Medicaid, qualifying for Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage, enrolling in a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP), dropping a Medigap policy when joining a Medicare Advantage plan, having a severe or disabling condition and there's a Medicare Chronic Care Special Needs Plan (SNP) available that serves people with that condition, being enrolled in a Special Needs Plan (SNP) and no longer having a qualifying condition, as well as creditable coverage.

Don't see what you're looking for?

Give us a call and we'll answer any question that you may have. You can also download this comprehensive guide from UnitedHealthcare that goes into detail about the Medicare Election Period, Medicare Advantage, and prescription drug plans.​

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