Once each year, Medicare eligible consumers have a chance to make changes to their Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicare prescription drug (Part D) coverage. This happens during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
The Medicare OEP dates are October 15th thru December 7th.
If you are under age 65, The Affordable Care Act created a similar annual OEP, during which, individuals are allowed the opportunity to buy coverage regardless of health.
The ACA OEP for 2015 runs from November 15th through February 15th.
This is a shorter OEP than last year, and individuals without coverage in 2015 face a higher penalty (2% of income up to $325).
One more important note: if you bought individual coverage at any time in 2014, your policy ends December 31, 2014. If you want to choose a new health plan, to do so for January 1, changes have to be completed by December 15th.
Next week: discover the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) OEP.