California Medicare Plans  -  How and when to enroll in Medicare plans


how and when to enroll in medicare plans


How and When to Enroll in Medicare Plans   

We've covered how to pick the best plan and even Advantage plans versus Supplements

Let's now get into the logistics as Medicare is a whole new world to most people.

The how's and when's!

Our primary role during enrollment is to guide people through the process and make it as easy as possible.


First, our credentials!:

california medicare agent with google reviews



As licensed California Medicare supplement agents, there's zero cost for our assistance.

And hand-holding.

These are the areas we'll cover:

  • When can a person enroll
  • When to apply for Medicare plans
  • How to enroll in a Medicare plan
  • What to have ready for enrollment
  • How long does the process take
  • When and how to enroll in Part D

Let's get started.  Pencils ready (old-school).

When can a person enroll?

There are different rules for supplements versus Advantage plans (and Part D).


We compare these two very different Medicare options here.


First, Medicare Supplements.

Technically, a person with part A and Part B set up through Medicare can enroll any time!

That being said, there are specific triggers that allow a person to enroll regardless of health and the vast majority of people apply during these windows.

The most common are:

  • Turning 65
  • Newly enrolling in Part B
  • Losing group health insurance
  • Losing Advantage plan coverage involuntarily
  • Switching back from Advantage plan within 1st year

Check with us if you have a special situation but the above make up 99% of the guaranteed issue triggers.



when to enroll in medicare plan


This means you don't have to complete a health questionnaire and can't be declined base on health.

This window is generally 6 months around when you become eligible.  This is where the rules can differ depending on your situation so check with us at

Outside of this window, we need to complete the health history statement and we can be declined but people generally get approved as the bar is set pretty low.

We can help you if you're in this situation.

Some people do not enroll in Part B when eligible and may have to way a period of time before it's active.

We can't enroll in a supplement unless both Part A and B are active with Medicare.

Learn more about the pieces of Medicare here.

So, practically speaking...when do you we enroll?

When to apply for Medicare supplement

Let's say our 65th birthday is April 15th.

That means we're eligible for Medicare April 1st (1st of the month we turn 65 in).

In that situation, it's generally best to follow this timeline:

  • Feb 1st - make sure your Part A and Part B is setup with Medicare ( 
  • March 1st - request Online Enrollment link (secured and free!!) for supplement once you have Medicare ID# (called MIB#)

 That's it!


enroll in medicare plans online


Now, if you're running late, don't fret.

We can actually submit the medicare application right up till the end of the month prior to the 1st that we want it to start.

The effective date will always be on the 1st of the following month if eligible.

Again, we're happy to help you with this process and make sure it all goes as planned.


We even have online quoting and enrollment!  Email us for personalized request.

We've enrolled 1000's of California medicare supplement enrollees over decades now! do we actually apply?

How to enroll in a Medicare supplement

First, we make sure our Part A and B is active with Medicare.

This can usually be done at or through your Social Security office.

Once both parts are active and you have your Medicare ID# (MIB#), we can enroll in the Medicare supplement policy.

This is where it gets really exciting.  You can quote below and even see what the Part D (medication) rates look like with your medications included.

quote medicare advantage plans

Many carriers have online enrollment right through the quote link!

We work with the biggest (AARP is through United Health):

quote california medicare carriers and plans online

If you have any questions about the application, we're happy to walk through it with you.

This can reduce the time from 45 minutes down to 10!

Complete the sections that are easy and then let's schedule a time to walk through the rest.

We offer a completely online and simplified application for Medicare supplements, Advantage Plans, and Part D!


The trickier part deals with eligibility but again, we're here to help!

  • Again, we want to submit before the 1st of the month that you're enrolling for.
  • Payment is generally not required with submission depending on the carrier.
  • You'll receive an invoice for the 1st month after approval.

So...what should you have ready?

What to have ready for enrollment?

It's actually not too bad.

The big one is that you need your Part A and Part B active with Medicare (see above).

They will generate a Medicare ID# (called MIB#) with effective dates and this generally takes a few weeks which is why we like to do this process about 2 months prior to your desired effective date.

Once we have we have this in place with Medicare, we just need to submit the online enrollment (via quote here).

As we mentioned above, we can help with this whole process and there's zero cost for our assistance as licensed California medicare supplement agents.

Just check out our Google reviews here!:


california medicare agent with google reviews

A quick outline on timing is next.

How long does the process take?

Medicare generally takes up to a few weeks to generate the Part A and Part B effective dates and Medicare ID#.

From there, we submit the supplement or advantage plan plan.

This generally takes about 7-10 days to process and see active in membership.

You'll receive a welcome kit shortly after!

Keep in mind that even if we submit late, we may still get the 1st of the month if you're eligible.


So, get Part A and B set up around 60 days prior to 1st of the month you're eligible for Medicare.  Enroll in Advantage, Supplement and/or Part D around 30 days prior!

An invoice will arrive from the carrier for the 1st month or you can register your online account and set up billing that way.

We're happy to help with any changes for billing and membership going forward.

What about Part D...the medication piece?

When and how to enroll in Part D

We have an entire review of Part D coverage for medication.

Keep in mind that the supplement plan does NOT cover RX.

That is covered by a separate plan called Part D and you can run the quotes with your medication and dosage info included.

This way, the quote will look at the best value for a total cost (premium and out-of-pocket expenses).

Part D timetables are pretty similar to Medicare supplements.


Part D plans in California

We just need to enroll prior to the 1st of the month we want it active.

We offer online enrollment for Part D and/or Advantage plans as well!

This is a free service to you and it takes into account your medications and pharmacies!!

One big difference with Part D plans is that we enroll or change plans at the end of each year during open enrollment regardless of health.  Just like Advantage Plans. 

Another big difference is that...if we choose to delay enrollment after we're eligible, there can be a 1% penalty per month.

For example, if we wait 12 months to enroll in Part D, the rates will be 12% higher.

At each open enrollment, your medications and favorite pharmacies will already be loaded into the system so you just need to update and voila...the best priced plans!

We now have the lay of the land!  Please let us know if we can help in any way.


Let's get started!


quote and enroll in medicare plans

Make sure to check out our review on how to compare and pick the best medicare plan!


quote california medicare carriers and plans online