Medicare Enrollment

Once you are eligible for Medicare, it’s important for you to understand the enrollment periods you can take advantage of to ensure you get the Medicare coverage you need, at the right time.


Let’s go over the enrollment periods you can use, and how you may be automatically enrolled.

Medicare Automatic Enrollment

Many people will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, also known as Original Medicare. You can be automatically enrolled if you are already receiving Social Security benefits. If you’re automatically enrolled, your Medicare coverage will start on the first day of the month you turn 65. If you happen to have a birthday on the first of the month, your coverage will start on the first day of the previous month.


If you’re not automatically enrolled, or if you are enrolled but would like to make changes to your Medicare coverage, here is a list of enrollment periods to take note of:

Initial Enrollment Period

Starts three months before your 65th birthday month and ends three months after your 65th birthday month. This period marks the beginning of your eligibility for Medicare. This is the best time to enroll in Medicare once eligible.

General Enrollment Period

Starts on January 1 and ends on March 31. If you don’t sign up for Part A or Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to do so during this period. Your coverage won’t start until July 1, and you may have late enrollment penalties.

Special Enrollment Period

If you qualify for this period, it allows you to enroll in Medicare without facing late enrollment penalties. For example, if you have creditable coverage through your employer when you become eligible for Medicare, you can delay your initial Medicare enrollment without having to pay a late penalty.

Annual Enrollment Period

Starts on October 15 and ends on December 7. You can use this period only if you’re currently enrolled in Medicare. This period allows you to make changes such as joining Medicare Advantage, switching Medicare Advantage, joining Part D, switching Part D plans, dropping plans, or switching insurers.

Why Do You Need a Financial Plan?

A financial plan can help you prepare for the future by allowing you to lay out all of your financial goals in a concise document. With a financial plan available, it’s easier to understand if all of your financial needs are being met. Although financial plans don’t have a set template, a licensed financial planner should be able to produce a plan that assesses risk, informs investments, and minimizes tax burden. An estate plan can also be included to arrange for the benefit and protection of your heirs. 

How Are Financial Plans Made?

Financial planning involves several steps. First, you calculate your net worth, then you determine your cash flow, and after that, you balance priorities. Here’s a little more information about each step. 

Determining Cash Flow

Cash flow is defined as the amount of money coming in and coming out. By documenting transactions, you can track the flow of cash in and out. Once you understand how much money is being spent and how much is being earned, you can determine how much you have available for saving, investing, and buying necessities.


It’s best to evaluate an entire year because expenses can change seasonally. By doing this, you can avoid over or underestimating what you spend in the given time frame.


When working to determine cash flow, your financial planner will document how much you’ve paid for basic housing expenses, like rent and utilities and credit card interest. Then, they’ll add categories for food, transportation, medical insurance, clothing, and other forms of spending, like entertainment and vacation travel.

Organizing Your Priorities

To get the most out of a financial plan, you must have clearly defined goals. Your financial planner will help you figure out what takes priority and develop a financial plan that will help you reach your objectives. This may involve matching you with a detailed savings plan or suggesting specific investments that will help you prepare for the future.

Get Your Financial Plan Created

If you’ve never had a financial plan made, you’re missing out on the clarity that these tools offer. To get your financial plan created, contact American Family Solutions.


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Regardless of the type of plan or coverage you need, American Family Solutions will safely guide you through retirement so you can enjoy your golden years with peace of mind knowing you are protected.