3 Financial Dates and Deadlines in March 2021

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Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.

Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.

Enter our “Money Calendar” series.

In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates in March 2021. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you.

March 14 — Daylight Saving Time starts

While it’s not an inherently financial event, we wanted to remind you that clocks are to “spring forward” at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday, March 14.

Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead, so you’re not late for work or appointments the next day.

March 31 — Medicare Advantage open enrollment period ends

As if Medicare isn’t complicated enough, this federal health insurance program for folks age 65 and older and those with certain disabilities or conditions has not one but two annual open enrollment periods.

The annual Medicare open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, while the annual Medicare Advantage open enrollment period runs from Jan. 1 to March 31.

Medicare Advantage plans, one of the two main types of Medicare, are offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. (The other type, Original Medicare, is the traditional government-managed health care coverage.)

During the current enrollment period, folks with Medicare Advantage plans (with or without prescription drug coverage) have the option to do one of the following:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan (with or without drug coverage).
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare (with or without also enrolling in a drug plan).

For more Medicare news, check out our latest coverage.

March 31 — Last day for free coronavirus antibody testing (presumably)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross has been testing blood, platelets and plasma donations for the presence of antibodies, as we reported in “How to Know If You Have COVID-19 Antibodies.”

But with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines continuing and the rate of new deaths and cases slowing, the Red Cross still plans to offer this freebie only “through the end of March,” according to the organization’s “COVID-19 Antibody Testing” page.

So, if you’re wondering whether you’ve been infected by the coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, consider donating blood, platelet and plasma before March is out. If you need another reason to donate, blood banks have been experiencing shortages, as we detail in “11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic.”

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