Each year, especially during this time when summer turns into fall and then ushers in winter, there is a lot of information swirling (like the leaves) regarding insurance options and choices. You might hear the term Medicare annual enrollment period battered around quite a bit. You probably know it is associated in some way with insurance, but if you are like many people, you aren’t quite sure how it affects you personally.
Thankfully, we have compiled a helpful resource for you that will help to guide you and learn more about the Medicare Annual enrollment period. Read on to learn more.
Generally speaking, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) gives you the opportunity to enroll in or make changes to your existing Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage. Medicare-eligible people can also choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D plan at this time as well.
AEP runs from October 15 to December 7. New coverage choices go into effect on January 1.
What Changes Can I Make During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
The specific actions you can take during AEP depend on your current coverage. See the following scenarios for potentially some of your options.
I currently have just Original Medicare (Parts A & B)
- Join a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C)*
- Apply for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)*
- *Note - a late enrollment penalty can apply if you didn't get a Part D (drug plan) when you were first eligible and didn't have creditable coverage
- You might also explore your options with a Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan.
I currently have Original Medicare (Part A and/or Part B) and a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)
- Join a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) with or without built-in drug coverage.
- Switch from your current Medicare prescription drug plan to another Medicare prescription drug plan.
- Make no changes and your current coverage will continue as is.
I currently have a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) with built-in drug coverage
- Switch from your current Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan with or without built-in drug coverage.
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare.
- Apply for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan. You might also explore your options with a Medicare supplement (Medigap) plan.
- Make no changes and your current coverage will renew as is.
Now is your opportunity to make the changes you desire in your insurance coverage. Consider the following steps to take to get the most out of this open enrollment period:
- Determine if your current coverage is a good fit for you. Open enrollment presents a great opportunity to access your current insurance plan and determine if it's working well or not for you.
- Consider factors like how much you pay for a doctor’s visit or other medical needs or prescription drugs. Considering how you could change coverages or add coverage could help you reduce your out-of-pocket costs throughout the year.
- Contact a licensed agent before the deadline. It's important to understand exactly what you may be gaining and perhaps losing when switching insurance plans.
Bottom Line: Don’t Wait
Contact us today at Winter-Dent to learn more about the various types of additional coverage you might be eligible for.