Medicare Open Enrollment Period 2017 Dates & State Eligibility

Having trouble keeping track of your Medicare enrollment dates? You're not the only one.

There are several different Medicare enrollment periods that can be easily confused. There's your initial enrollment period, special enrollment periods and a general enrollment period. There's even an Open (Annual) Enrollment Period from October 15th to December 7th that allows you to change your Medicare coverage. There is state-specific information you should also take into consideration when choosing your Medicare coverage.

This guide will walk you through Medicare enrollment as well as provide helpful resources for a number of states.


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Acronym Definition Medicare Enrollment Dates Effective Dates

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IEP Initial Enrollment Period 7 months surrounding your 65th birthday No sooner than your birthday month, or 25th month of disability benefit entitlement

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GEP General Enrollment Period January 1st to March 31st July 1

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OEP or AEP Open Enrollment Period or Annual Election Period October 15th to December 7th January 1st of the following year

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SEP Special Enrollment Period for the Working Aged and Working Disabled For Original Medicare Part A and Part B: 8 months, following the month you retire or lose creditable coverage; For Medicare Part C and Part D: 63 days after the loss of employer healthcare coverage Coverage start date varies

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MADP Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period January 1st to February 14th The first day of the month after your enrollment form is received

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Medigap OEP Medigap Open Enrollment Period 6 months, starting the month you’re 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B Can vary, but usually begins the first day of the month after you apply

Select Your State

Medicare Enrollment Guidelines

Medicare benefits are available to American citizens and permanent residents (who have lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years) who are 65 and older as well as those who are under 65 with certain disabilities or medical conditions. Medicare enrollment can vary a little depending on your circumstances.

If you're turning 65: 

Automatic Enrollment

If you're already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits at least four months before your 65th birthday, you'll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail 3 months before you 65th birthday. You may decline Part B coverage at that time if you so choose.

If you choose to join a Medicare Advantage or standalone Medicare Prescription Drug plan, you may do so during your 7-month Medicare Initial Enrollment Period. This period begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month and ends three months later.

If you have Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and would like to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan, the best time to do so is during your Medigap open enrollment period. It lasts six months and begins the month you are enrolled in Medicare Part B. You cannot be denied coverage due to health reasons during this period. You may not have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.

Manual Enrollment

If you haven't started receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits four months before you turn 65, you'll need to manually sign up for Medicare. The best time to do so is during your 7-month Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (mentioned above). You can also sign up for a Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage plan during this time.

If you or your spouse are still working when you turn 65 and are covered by a group health plan, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that usually will exempt you from late enrollment penalties. You may sign up for Medicare at any time while you are working and up to 8 months after your employment or group health insurance plan ends.

If you have Original Medicare and would like Medigap, the best time to sign up is during your six-month Medigap open enrollment period.

If you're under 65:

Disabilities

If you have been receiving Social Security disability benefits or certain disability benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board for 24 months, you'll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Your Medicare card will arrive three months before your 25 month of disability. You may also choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Prescription Drug Plan.

Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)

If you have ALS, there's no 24 month waiting period. You'll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare the same month your Social Security disability benefits begin. You may also choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan.

End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

If you have ESRD, you'll need to manually enroll in Medicare. Coverage usually starts at the beginning of your fourth month of dialysis treatments. Your coverage may begin sooner if you meet certain conditions. There are only a few limited circumstances that allow ESRD patients to join a Medicare Advantage plan.

Learn more about Medicare enrollment and ESRD.

Medigap

States provide a number of resources to help Medicare beneficiaries better understand their coverage options and their benefits. We also identify states that require Medigap plans be offered to people under 65, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Find your state below to get started.

State Medicare Information & Resources

Medicare enrollment and eligibility can vary from state to state, so it’s important that beneficiaries understand what applies to where they live. Luckily, many states also provide resources to help seniors understand their options.

ALABAMA

The state of Alabama offers a wide variety of resources to its residents over 65 that are looking to purchase a Medicare plan.

  • Alabama Department of Insurance: This website acts as a senior shopper’s guide for health insurance, including information about premium rates, Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage.
  • Alabama Agency on Aging: If you have any questions regarding your Medicare benefits, understanding your Medicare summary notice, or coverage you, SHIP is able to answer them with free, unbiased counseling.
  • Alabama Ageline: Through Ageline, Senior Rx provides drug prescription assistance that allows senior Alabamians to get their medicine at a free or low cost.

ALASKA

Unfortunately, Alaska does not offer Medicare Advantage plans (Part C). However, there are still plenty of options for Original Medicare coverage.

  • AARP: AARP provides a comprehensive guide on how Medicare can help pay for your healthcare and prescription drug needs and how you can save with the Medicare Savings Program.
  • Alaska DHSS- Senior and Disability Services: This site provides to a handful of helpful sites that deal with topics such as what you can expect when getting ready to enroll Medicare, Medicare Supplement plans and how to report fraud and abuse.
  • Senior Resource Guide: Understand your Medicare benefits better by speaking with a counselor.
  • Alaska Department of Retirement and Benefits: provides a detailed FAQ list that covers questions you may have about Medicare and other insurance options.
  • Anchorage Senior Center: Even if you don’t live in Anchorage, this site provides helpful information that will help you with the Medicare enrollment process.

ARIZONA

Learn more about your Medicare benefits as an Arizona senior. Your state provides a plethora of information to become more knowledge. 

  • Arizona Department of Economic Security: This government site provides information about Medicare Advantage plans that are available as part of a collaboration between  Medicare and private insurance companies.
  • SHIP: This service provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security answers any questions you may have about the senior health insurance program.
  • AHCCCS: If you need help paying for your Medicare costs, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System may be able to help.
  • Arizona Department of Insurance: offers information on health care resources for seniors, and long-term care resources for Arizona seniors. 

ARKANSAS

Arkansas provides plenty of options for you to learn more about Medicare and how to enroll.

  • Public Benefits for Arkansas Seniors: Go directly to pages 6-11 to learn more about your Medicare options in Arkansas.
  • Arkansas Consumer Assistance: Although Arkansas stopped participating in in the federal Consumer Assistance Program grant in 2014, the state still provides assistance to those who may need it.
  • AR Medicaid: Learn how your Medicaid benefits can work with your Medicare ones. 

CALIFORNIA

Here are a number of helpful links for California residents — including those in search of assistance programs and those with disabilities.

*California requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled. This requirement does not include those under 65 with ESRD.

COLORADO

Below are several resources from the state of Colorado to help you better understand Medicare.

*Colorado requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

CONNECTICUT

Use the resources below to learn more about Connecticut and Medicare.

*Connecticut requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

DELAWARE

Delaware offers several Medicare Assistance programs and a State Health Insurance Program that offers counseling and other services to Medicare recipients. The following resources provide more information.

FLORIDA

Florida provides Medicare Savings Programs and other assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. It also mandates that people under 65 with a disability have the right to purchase a Medigap policy.

Consult the following resources to learn about savings plans and Medigap plans for Medicare recipients in Florida:

GEORGIA

Consult the following resources to learn about savings plans and Medigap plans for Medicare recipients in Florida:

*Georgia requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

HAWAII

Just like states on the U.S. mainland, Hawaii offers assistance programs to eligible Medicare beneficiaries.

Check out these helpful links to learn more:

  • Hawaii SHIP – Find local help if you live in the Aloha State and receive Medicare benefits.
  • AARP Guide to Public Benefits in Hawaii – Includes information on eligibility and how to apply for Medicare Savings Programs.
  • Hawaii Rx Plus – Hawaii’s prescription drug discount program that’s available to qualifying Hawaii residents.
  • ADRC Hawaii – Find information and local resources for people with disabilities and for families, caregivers and other people who help people with disabilities. This includes people under age 65 who are disabled or who have ESRD.

*Hawaii requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

IDAHO

The resources below can help you navigate the benefits of Medicare in Idaho.

  • Department of Insurance: This department can help you  if you have any questions about a Medicare plan you have already enrolled in.
  • Idaho Medicaid Program: If you have any concerns that you cannot afford health insurance, you may be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
  • Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors: If you have a disability, renal disease or just a general question about Medicare eligibility, contact these folks. It also explains coverage choices and the different parts of Medicare available to Idaho seniors.  
  • Idaho Commission on Aging: Learn how to detect and avoid Medicare fraud to prevent abuse.
  • US News- Health This report includes a detailed outline of what Medicare Advantage plans entail and whether or not purchasing one is the right choice for you.

ILLINOIS

If you live in Illinois, you have a number of helpful resources at your fingertips.

Learn more below:

*Illinois requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

INDIANA

The Hoosier State provides many resources for seniors who are looking to learn more about Medicare. Read below to get educated on them.

  • Indiana DOI: The state’s Department of Insurance can answer any questions you may have about Medicare— what it is, if you’re eligible, when you can enroll and what the benefits are.
  • SHIP: This state health insurance program provides you with free, unbiased information about your health care options in Indiana.
  • Hoosier Healthwise: Medicaid services may be able to help cover some Medicare costs.
  • US News-Health: This report outlines the different Medicare Advantage plans that are available to you based on your zip code.
  • Hoosier Rx: This pharmaceutical assistance program can help you with your part D premium payments if you are older than 65 and make less than $18,330 a year.

IOWA

If you are looking to learn more about Medicare in the state of Iowa, you have come to the right place. Iowa offers plenty of resources on what Medicare covers, how you can get help in paying your premiums and savings plans.

KANSAS

Kansas offers free counseling for those who are looking for their Medicare questions to be answered, information on who is on Medicare in the state and estimations of your monthly premiums, among other things. Read on to find out more.

  • SHICK: Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas provides seniors in the state with free information and advice to any questions you may have on Medicare.
  • KenCare: The Division of Healthcare Finance helps the disabled and aged, among other demographics, with covering costs of premiums.
  • Kansas DOI: This site will help estimate what your monthly premiums would be like if you enrolled in a Medicare supplement plan.
  • Commission on Aging: This site contains a detailed and comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about Medicare.

*Kansas requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

KENTUCKY

Medicare Savings, free healthcare guidance and assistance with paying for prescription drugs are some of the perks that the Bluegrass State has to offer. Read on to take advantage of these resources.

  • Medicare and Medicaid Prescription Drug Info: This site provides guidance on how you can cover certain medical services and supplies with Medicare.
  • Medicare Savings Program Information: Certain low-income individuals are eligible for partial financial assistance with Medicare premiums, deductibles, or coinsurance.
  • US News- Health: This report includes a detailed outline of what Medicare Advantage plans entail and whether or not purchasing one is the right choice for you.
  • Kentucky SHIP: A free service to seniors who are looking for questions answered about Medicare coverage, costs and services.

LOUISIANA

Learn more about Medicare coverage in Louisiana:

  • Louisiana SHIP – Plenty of guidance to make sure you understand your Medicare coverage and all of the options available to you.
  • Help with Medicare Costs – See all the ways the state of Louisiana can offer assistance with Medicare.
  • Medicare Savings Program – Louisiana Medicaid may be able to help you pay for some of your Medicare costs if you qualify.
  • Louisiana SenioRx – A program that helps low-income Louisianans find discounted medications.

*Louisiana requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MAINE

If you live in Maine, you have Medicare options if you have a limited income or are disabled. There are a number of programs worth exploring.

  • State of Maine Bureau of Insurance – A guide to Maine’s state resources for health insurance and Medicare questions.
  • State of Maine Aging & Disability Services (SHIP) – Trained counselors offer free advice and guidance to Medicare beneficiaries in Maine.
  • MaineCare – As Maine’s Medicaid program, MaineCare helps people living in Maine get the help they need for out-of-pocket healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t cover.
  • Eligibility Guide – A resource for determining eligibility for Maine’s state Medicaid program.
  • Alpha One – Maine offers a number of resources for people living with disabilities. Learn more about Medicare benefits for those with disabilities.
  • Maine Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly or Disabled – A state program to help people pay for prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • State Enrollment Variations  In Maine, Medigap beneficiaries can switch to a different Medigap plan (with same or lesser benefits) at any time during the year. And each year, carriers must designate one-month guaranteed-issue period (outside of Open Enrollment), during which any applicant will be accepted into Medigap Plan A.
  • Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)   Main has state-specific guidelines for Medicare Savings programs related to income limits.

*Maine requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MARYLAND

If you live in Maryland, there are plenty of resources to help you learn about your Medicare coverage. You could qualify for Medicare Savings Programs. Maryland also requires that Medigap plans be available to disabled residents under 65.

Visit these sites to get started:

  • Maryland SHIP – Maryland’s State Health Insurance Program can help you understand your Medicare benefits and rights. There are local offices in all 24 counties that are ready to assist.
  • Medicare Savings Programs Application – Fill out this application to participate in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB) or the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB). If you qualify, the QMB program will pay your Medicare premiums, copayments and deductibles. The SLMB program pays your Part B premium only.
  • Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program (SPDAP) – Maryland’s SPDAP program offers assistance to qualifying seniors who need help paying for their prescriptions. You must be a Medicare recipient and have an income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.

*Maryland requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts standardizes its Medigap plans differently from the rest of the country. Learn more about Medigap in the Bay State, as well as specific programs it offers.

*Massachusetts requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled. This requirement does not include those under 65 with ESRD.

MICHIGAN

The state of Michigan launched a new subsidy program in 2017 that will reduce the cost of Medigap premiums for its residents. It offers considerable savings — up to $125 per month — for certain Medigap beneficiaries who are under 65 and have a disability. For more information, including the online application, visit https://michiganmedigapsubsidy.com.

Michigan also offers a number of other resources to help Medicare recipients:

  • Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) – Michigan’s version of SHIP offers a wealth information for both Medicare and Medicaid recipients so they understand their health coverage options.
  • Medicare Buy-In Program – Also known as the Medicare Savings program, it can help you pay for certain out-of-pocket costs you’ll encounter as a Medicare beneficiary.
  • MiRx – Michigan’s Prescription Drug Discount card is a free program to help residents who do not have prescription drug coverage.
  • MMAP Medigap Insurance Comparison Guide – Helpful information for those looking to purchase a Medigap plan in Michigan.

*Michigan requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MINNESOTA

Minnesota is one of three states (Massachusetts and Wisconsin are the others) that sets its own Medicare Supplement Insurance standards. Your Medigap options will look a little different in Minnesota. Learn more:

  • Minnesota SHIP – The Minnesota Board of Aging’s volunteers serve seniors to provide answers about the Medicare coverage.
  • Medicare Savings Programs – These programs help Minnesotans pay for Medicare costs. Find out if you qualify.
  • Low Cost Options for Prescription Drugs – A comprehensive list of programs in Minnesota that help pay for the cost of medications.
  • Medigap in Minnesota – Information from Medicare.gov that explains how Medigap standards in Minnesota differ from the rest of the country.
  • Medicare: The Details – Up-to-date information on the Medicare program and how it works for people under 65 with disabilities.

*Minnesota requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MISSISSIPPI

The Magnolia State has lots to offer Medicare recipients. It has Medicare Savings Programs and also requires that Medigap plans be available to disabled residents under the age of 65. Check out the resources below:

  • Mississippi SHIP – Mississippi’s SHIP program has volunteers on call to answer all of your question about your Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Find your local agency and give it a call.
  • Medicare Savings Program – A brief overview of the programs available to Medicare recipients. Contact your local SHIP office to learn more.
  • Medicare Supplement Shopper’s Guide – A guide from the Mississippi Insurance Department to help you find the right Medigap plan for you. Includes enrollment information for people under 65 with a disability.

*Mississippi requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MISSOURI

The Show Me State offers a helpful Medigap Shopping Guide, programs to help Medicare beneficiaries with their out-of-pocket costs, and the state features a unique Medigap enrollment guaranteed issue period.

  • Missouri SHIP – This organization provides free and unbiased information about Medicare to beneficiaries and potential enrollees in Missouri.
  • Missouri Department of Insurance – The state department of insurance offers free information and trained counselors to help educate Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Programs to Help You Pay – A comprehensive list of resources to help pay for out-of-pocket Medicare costs and prescription drug coverage.
  • The Missouri Rx (MoRx) Plan – Missouri offers the MoRx Pharmacy Assistance Program to help coordinate Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits.
  • Missouri Medigap Shopping Guide – Page 9 of this helpful guide outlines some special rates for disabled Missourians.
  • Missouri Medicare Supplement Anniversary Guaranteed Issue Period – Page 8 of this guide gives more information about the unique enrollment opportunity that allows Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan to switch their same policy from a different carrier without having to undergo medical underwriting. It begins 30 days before the issue date of the beneficiary’s current policy, and ends 30 days after the issue date.

*Missouri requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

MONTANA

Medicare beneficiaries in the Treasure state have plenty of resources available to them. Read on to see how you can learn more about Medicare and if you qualify for certain programs that will help you cover the costs.

  • Commissioner of Securities & Insurance: The Montana State Monitor answers any questions you may have about your current or future Medicare enrollment.
  • Big Sky Rx Program: If you are a Montana senior and you meet the income requirement, you are eligible to receive assistance in paying for your prescription drugs.
  • SHIP: Montana SHIP’s mission is to advocate, educate and empower seniors and caregivers with making better and more informed decisions about Medicare.
  • Medicare 101: Everything you need to know about Medicare in Montana is housed on this site.

NEBRASKA

Nebraska offers plenty of Medicare Supplement Policies to its seniors, among other valuable resources. Read on to learn more about Medicare coverage in the Cornhusker state.

  • SHIIP: SHIIP counselors help seniors in Nebraska understand their healthcare insurance options for free.
  • US News- Health: Medicare Advantage and Part D plans can help offset some of the costs of original Medicare to make your coverage more affordable.
  • Medicare Supplement Policies: This 4-page guide tells you everything you need to know about Medigap plans in the state of Nebraska.
  • US News- Health: Medicare Part C is an alternative to original Medicare and can cover costs of services provided by medical centers.
  • Nebraska Department on Aging & Elder Services: This organization provides assistance with senior benefit programs, including Medicare.

NEVADA

A plethora of resources about Medicare are available to you if you’re a senior living in the Sagebrush state. Read on to take advantage of them.

  • SHIP: In a no-pressure zone, SHIP counselors will discuss all of your health care options and which one works best for you.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: This site provides seniors in Nevada with resources they might need to purchase Medicare, answer questions about their health care coverage and how they might pay for it.
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance:  A Medigap plan may be best for you if you still need assistance in paying for healthcare costs like deductibles  that are not covered by Medicare.
  • Department of Health & Human Services: This site features the benefits that come with the Medicare Beneficiaries program.
  • Nevada Senior Rx Program:  If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to receive assistance in paying for your prescription drugs.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Medicare beneficiaries in New Hampshire have a lot of resources to choose from:

*New Hampshire requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

NEW JERSEY

Learn more about your Medicare coverage and programs so you can make informed decisions if you live in the Garden State.

*New Jersey requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

NEW MEXICO

Are you a senior living in New Mexico? Below are some of the Medicare resources available to you, like Centennial Care, a program that could cut some of out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

  • NM HICAP: This Health Insurance Consumer Assistance Program will answer any questions you may have about a Medicare plan you are enrolled in.
  • Law Help New Mexico: This website describes the different parts of Medicare and what you can expect with the enrollment process.
  • Centennial Care: Medicaid services may be able to step in to help cover some of your healthcare costs.
  • NM Aging & Long-Term Services Department: If you need help with health care, home delivered meals, transportation, or assisted living centers, this department will come to your rescue.

*New Mexico requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

NEW YORK

The Empire State offers support for its residents in a number of ways, including drug assistance and Medicare Savings Programs. New York’s EPIC program is an additional resource that helps many eligible Medicare beneficiaries cover their out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. 

*New York requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

NORTH CAROLINA

Click on these links to learn more about all the options North Carolina offers its Medicare beneficiaries:

*North Carolina requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

NORTH DAKOTA

The Roughrider state offers lots of benefits to its seniors in the realm of healthcare. Adults & Aging Services provides various programs that help seniors live a comfortable and non-restrictive life and there are plenty of programs that can help with your prescription drug payments.

  • ND Insurance Department: This site provides information on the State Health Insurance Counseling Program, which offers neutral, unbiased advice and support about your health care options.
  • Adults & Aging Services: The Department of Human Services offers programs that assist people with disabilities and seniors in North Dakota live safely in a non-restrictive lifestyle.
  • Medicare FAQ: The ND Insurance Department has a detailed FAQ list that will help you through the entire Medicare enrollment process.
  • Prescription Connection: This program connects North Dakota citizens of all ages to free and discounted prescription drugs.

OHIO

The Buckeye State offers several programs that benefit seniors, like counseling and other services to Medicare recipients. The following links provide more information.

OKLAHOMA

Take a look at the resources below to learn about how Oklahoma can help its Medicare beneficiaries.

*Oklahoma requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

OREGON

Here are some helpful links for residents of Oregon. Like other states, it offers a "birthday rule" for Medigap enrollment.

  • SHIBA volunteers by county (SHIP) – This resource helps you find volunteer counseling resources in every county of the state. Search  by county and reach out to your local office for assistance.
  • Oregon Health Plan (OHP) – This organization is committed to helping residents of Oregon maintain access to affordable health care, typically through a Coordinated Care Organization (CCO).
  • Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) of Oregon – Local information and services for seniors and for those with disabilities.
  • Oregon Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Birthday Rule – Once a year, Medicare beneficiaries living in Oregon have an opportunity to compare Medigap Plan prices and switch insurance companies if they find a more affordable plan (of equal or lesser benefits. This 30-day “open enrollment” period follows a beneficiary’s birthday each year.
  • Medicare Savings Program  Oregon has state-specific guidelines for Medicare Savings programs, including no limit on assets.

*Oregon requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

PENNSYLVANIA

From extra help with prescription drug costs, Medicare counseling and other services, visit some of the sites below and educate yourself on what’s available to Medicare beneficiaries in Pennsylvania.

*Pennsylvania requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

RHODE ISLAND

Learn more about your Medicare benefits as a senior living in Rhode Island. Your state provides a plethora of information to become more knowledge.

  • Rhode Island Partnership for Long Term Care: Medicare does not pay for long-term care services that most seniors require, but with this state partnership program you may qualify for at-home assistance.
  • Division of Elderly Affairs: With the requirements laid out in a helpful chart, you can see if you qualify for Medicare benefits.
  • US News- Health:  This report includes a detailed outline of what Medicare Advantage plans entail and whether or not purchasing one is the right choice for you.
  • Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance: If you are over 65 years old or are 55 and disabled, this program may be able to provide help in paying for your prescription drugs.

SOUTH CAROLINA

The Palmetto State offers supplemental health insurance and prescription drug assistance to its residents. It also requires that insurance companies sell Medigap policies to those under 65 with a disability. Click on the links below to learn more:

  • South Carolina Senior Citizens’ Handbook: This 71-page guide is the ultimate resource for South Carolina seniors who want to know the ins and outs of laws and programs that affect them.
  • South Carolina Medicaid Long Term Care Eligibility: In order to be eligible for this service, you must strictly be under the income limit.
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance: This 2017 Shopper’s Guide will walk you through information on Medicare premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and tips as you navigate the process.
  • SC SHIP: To assist in the complicated and sometimes confusing aspects of Medicare, this organization provides free and unbiased counseling to help you make the right decision on your healthcare needs.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Take a minute to learn what Medicare benefits you could receive as a senior in the Mount Rushmore State. Valuable information is at your fingertips, like how you can cover some Medicare costs with outside help.

  • Consumer Protection: The SD Attorney General put together a comprehensive site that gives valuable information about Medicare to seniors in this state.
  • Department of Social Services: If you are a senior and need help paying for your prescription drugs, you should consider enrolling in Medicare Part D to help offset some of the costs of your medications.
  • Medicare Savings Program: This program assists individuals by up to $1,462 a year with payments on their Medicare expenses.
  • SD Geographic Areas: South Dakota has different rating areas based on where you lie in the state.

*South Dakota requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

TENNESSEE

Tennessee offers plenty of guidance that could be helpful in your quest to learn more about your Medicare coverage:

  • Tennessee SHIP – Tennessee’s SHIP offices can provide both assistance and counseling about your Medicare coverage for free. Best of all, there’s a counseling site nearby.
  • Medicare Cost Sharing Programs – There are four Medicare Cost Sharing programs in Tennessee that you may be eligible for.
  • Medicare Supplement (The Tennessee Plan) – A state Medicare supplement that is offered to retired state employees and their families.
  • TN Medicare Help – A site dedicated to educating Tennesseans on Medicare benefits and fraud.

*Tennessee requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

TEXAS

Take a few minutes and educate yourself on some of the specifics of how Medicare works in Texas. Here are some helpful resources to use in your research:

*Texas requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

UTAH

If you are a senior living in the Beehive state, learn about what healthcare options are available to you and how you can get assistance in covering some of the costs for your prescription drugs.

  • New Medicare Rules: In 2008, the Department of Insurance updated their federal rules around Medicare.
  • Insurance Rules: This site includes a comprehensive list of the current health care rules, including Medicare in Utah.
  • Medicare Advantage: Everything you need to know about Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Utah Health Insurance Consumer Help: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid provide a list of agencies that can help answer questions you may have about health care coverage.
  • Rx Connect Utah: This program links you to the prescriptions you need if you cannot afford them.
  • Aging & Adult Services: Seniors will be connected to resources to make their lives easier, like transportation, meal deliveries and caregivers support.

VERMONT

Are you a Vermonter? Below are some resources you can use as you learn more about Medicare enrollment and coverage options.

  • Age Well Vermont — Vermont’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers several services for seniors, including a helpline, in-home visits, care transitions and more.
  • VPharm — VPharm helps individuals enrolled in Medicare Part D pay for prescription medications. Eligible recipients pay a monthly premium for VPharm each month (amount dependent upon income and eligibility).
  • Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)  — This guide shows state-specific guidelines for MSPs. Note: there is no limit on assets.

*Vermont requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled. This requirement does not include those under 65 with ESRD.

VIRGINIA

Are you looking for more information on Medicare in the Old Dominion State? You have come to the right place. Virginia offers prescription drug assistance to its residents, and also guarantees Medicare recipients under age 65 with disabilities can buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap).

  • Medical Assistance for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Medicare savings program may allow you to help cover some out-of-pocket costs of your Medicare Part B coverage.
  • Virginia Division for Aging: Links to topics on various subjects like abuse & neglect, caregivers and Alzheimer's are included on this page.
  • Virginia SHIP: If you are confused on what healthcare plan will work best for you, consult with a SHIP counselor who will provide you with unbiased information to help inform your decision.
  • Prescription Drug Assistance: There are many programs available to Virginia seniors who need help with paying for their prescription drugs.

WASHINGTON

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary living in the Evergreen State, there is a lot of information available to you. Learn how you can receive help paying for your Medicare expenses.

WEST VIRGINIA

Read on below to explore the resources available to you that will make understanding your Medicare benefits a little easier. The Mountain State provides services like helping pay for your drug prescriptions and Medicare Savings programs.

  • SHIP: A 25-year-old program that provides neutral, unbiased information on health care coverage to West Virginians.
  • West Virginia Assistance Programs: There are a plethora of resources available in West Virginia that assist state residents in paying for their needed medications.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: The state offers various consumer assistance that can help you with any questions you may have about Medicare.
  • Medicare Savings Program: Read this helpful guide to see if you are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

WISCONSIN

Below is a list of websites that will help Wisconsin Medicare beneficiaries learn more about their coverage. Wisconsin is one of three states (along with Massachusetts and Minnesota) that has set its own unique Medicare Supplement Insurance standards. Your Medigap plan will be different from those sold in other states.

  • Wisconsin SHIP – Free Medicare counseling for Wisconsin residents. Call the Medigap helpline at 800-242-1060 for answers on Medicare-related questions.
  • Medicare Savings Program/Medicare Premium Assistance – Get help from the Wisconsin Medicaid program if you’re having trouble paying for your Medicare expenses. There are four programs with different eligibility requirements.
  • Prescription Drug Assistance Programs – A list of resources that may be able to help you pay for your prescription drugs.
  • Medigap in Wisconsin – Specifics from Medicare.gov on how Medigap is standardized differently in Wisconsin than in other states.

*Wisconsin requires that insurance carriers offer at least one Medigap policy to those under 65 who are disabled and those who are under 65 who have ESRD.

WYOMING

The Cowboy State offers several Medicare Assistance programs and a State Health Insurance Program that offers counseling and other services to Medicare recipients. The following resources provide more information.

  • Wyoming Ship – Contact the State Health Information Program if you are trying to make a health care plan decision and need unbiased advice.
  • US News Health – Medicare Part C is an alternative to original Medicare and can cover costs of services provided by medical centers.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – The organizations listed on this page can help you make the most of your Medicare options.