The Medicare Process: Timeline and Important Steps to Take


Why is it so important to go through a proven process when you’re new to Medicare or shopping for a new plan?

Medicare is unique in that certain steps are critical to take at the right time.  If a step is missed or done late, then it's possible to receive a permanent Part B and/or Part D penalty.

I have spoken to many people who were angry and confused as to why they were being assessed a permanent monthly penalty. 

For example, nobody told them that COBRA wasn’t considered creditable coverage or that they were required to have a specific type of drug plan or that a specific form was required.

Also, a decision you make when first enrolling could lock you into a plan you might not want long-term. Taking the time to understand short-term and long-term planning with Medicare is critical to making good decisions.

The Process I take you through starts with an initial consultation so I can understand your situation.  Generally speaking, there are 4 different categories you will fall into.

  1. You are turning 65 soon and don’t have the option of employer-sponsored health insurance.
  2. You are turning 65 soon and have the option of staying on a group plan through your employer.
  3. You are past the age of 65 and will be retiring soon.
  4. You are enrolled in a Medicare plan and shopping for new coverage.

For a free checklist, please schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

A checklist is needed to make sure every step is taken and all bases are covered.  I give my clients the same checklist I use so they know the steps we’ll take along the way.

Again, the process or steps involved will vary depending on your situation. 

Whether you work with me or another agent, it’s important to have a blueprint - a checklist - to make sure the entire process goes smoothly. 

Below are some steps that are a part of the process. Again, several key steps will be added based on your situation (category).

  • Initial Consultation to learn about you, your situation and eligibility
  • Send Process / Checklist 
  • Schedule "Navigating the Medicare Maze" meeting (in person or phone). 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Explain Part B Enrollment Process, IRMAA, and timeline
  • Receive health conditions, medications, preferred providers
  • Provide quotes (including financial ratings) for ALL carriers available in your area.  Highlight certain carriers and explain important criteria for selecting a plan and carrier.
  • Cost/benefit analysis
  • Part D (prescription drug) Comparison Report and Analysis/Recommendation
  • Discuss Dental/Vision/Hearing coverage options.
  • Explain ability to switch plans at a future date.
  • Explain Trial Right period if applicable
  • Application Process:  Explain option to enroll / timeline and effective dates.
  • ID Cards and Welcome Kits. 
  • Review policies, ensure everything is correct (plan selection, personal info., billing, etc.)
  • Explain how and why to create account at
  • Follow-up to ensure smooth transition.
  • Optional sign-up for newsletter to keep you informed about all important changes to Medicare that could affect you.
  • Referrals to other professionals (if applicable).

Learn More

Schedule your free 15-minute consultation to get the process or "checklist" that is geared specifically to your situation.