Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period
Each fall, Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period rolls around to offer beneficiaries a chance to review and change their coverage before the new year. Around this time, you’ll see an increased amount of communications about different Medicare plans and options in your area. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, so let’s do a brief introduction to this yearly event.
What’s the difference between the Annual Enrollment Period and other enrollment periods?
Simply put, the Annual Enrollment Period, also known as AEP, gives all Medicare beneficiaries a variety of ways to change their health care coverage. You don’t need to have a qualifying life event, like you do for a Special Enrollment Period. There’s also no limit on what you can do. Any changes you make during this time take effect on January 1 of the following year.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Medicare Supplement Insurance
- Enroll in or switch your Medicare Advantage plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to just Original Medicare (Part A & Part B).
- Replace Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) with a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Change your prescription drug plan (Part D).
- Enroll in a Part D plan.
- Change from a Part D plan to a Medicare Advantage plan (if you are enrolled in Part A and Part B of Original Medicare.)
- Remove your Part D prescription drug coverage.
Do I need to do anything?
If you’re already enrolled in a plan that works well for you, then you typically don’t need to take any action — your plan should automatically renew.
If, however, you receive a Plan Non-Renewal Notice in the mail, that means your plan will expire at the end of the year and you’ll be left without coverage if you don’t enroll in something else during AEP.
Around this time, some beneficiaries may receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in the mail (for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans only). If you receive one, review this document carefully and make sure that you are ok with the upcoming changes. If your plan stops covering your area or your prescription, it’s time for a change.
Many people prefer to compare their plans yearly to see if any new benefits or lower rates are available. It is completely up to you!
What are the deadlines for AEP?
AEP begins on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7. You must shop and enroll in a plan during this time if you wish to make a plan change for the following year.
United Medicare Advisors is your resource to all things Medicare. We’ll help you compare your current health plan to multiple Medicare Supplement Plans from over 20 carriers nationwide. You’ll feel confident you have the right coverage for you in the new year. Give us a call when you’re ready to shop!