Health Insurance alternatives for those on Medicare are very confusing. For those enrolling in Medicare for the first time, the time-line for doing this is from three months before the month one turns age 65 till the end of the third month after the month one turns age 65. It is during this period of time that one wishing to sign up for a medicare supplement plan or an advantage plan may do so without concern for medical conditions. If one tries to enroll after this open enrollment window, you may be declined acceptance into a medicare supplement plan and may have to wait till the next annual open enrollment period for an Advantage or prescription plan, which is from November 15 to Dec. 31 of each year.


If looking at Medicare supplement Plans 2019, keep in mind there is no requirement to enroll in any Advantage, Medicare Supplement or Prescription plan.   Get assistance and help at, if one elects not to enroll in a prescription plan when eligible, and you do not have another credible prescription plan, you will have to pay a 1% penalty for each month that you wait to enroll in such a prescription plan in the future. The 1% penalty is figured on the cost of a base plan. Also be aware that the penalty is payable for the rest one’s life.


The following is important for those concerned about their access to affordable Health Insurance and the most appropriate health plan. If you elect to get an Advantage Plan instead of a supplement plan, you may not be able to change and go back to a supplement plan if you develop a medical condition. The only thing that will let you go to a supplement plan is if your Advantage plan is canceled or eliminated for some reason (other than something that was your fault) or if you move out of the plans service area for your current Advantage plan. This is very important to keep in mind as an Advantage plan may become more expensive and limit some of you health insurance options. It is my recommendation to go with a supplement plan instead of an Advantage plan if at all possible. Remember that supplement plans do not include Rx coverage.

For those that just don’t have the funds for a supplement plan, there are HMO plans available in most areas now that offer zero cost options.