The Annual Election Period (AEP), also called as Open Enrollment, begins October 15. This is the time of the year when you can sign up for Medicare or switch to a new plan. Before the season begins, here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Annual Election Period?
The Annual Election Period occurs between October 15th and December 7th and during that time, Medicare beneficiaries can change their prescription drug coverage and Medicare health plans for the following year. Many Medicare health and drug plans may make yearly changes to premiums, plan benefits and networks. The Annual Election Period allows Medicare recipients the opportunity to decide which plan will fit their needs for the upcoming year.
What Do I Need to Know Before the Annual Election Period Starts?
Before AEP begins, it is critical to review the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) documents you will receive from your insurance carrier in September or the beginning of October. The Annual Notice of Change includes any changes (in your current plan) in costs, coverage, or service area that will be effective in the following January. The Evidence of Coverage provides details about how much you pay for your current plan, what your current plan offers and more. If you have any questions about the ANOC or EOC, our team can help you sort through the documents and let you know what your next steps are.
What Can I Do During the Annual Election Period?
During the Annual Election Period, you have many different options to chose from. For example you can join a Medicare prescription drug plan, drop a prescription drug plan or switch from one prescription drug plan to another. Another option would be to join a Medicare Advantage plan or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. During this time you can return to Original Medicare. Our team is here to help in reviewing these options give us a call to schedule a consultation.
How Do I Know if I Need to Change My Medicare Plan?
As you begin the decision process of whether you will change to a new Medicare plan, it’s important to evaluate what type of coverage you will need in the coming year. Are you planning to travel internationally with Medicare? Do you want extra coverage for hearing, dental, vision, and/or health and wellness programs? Are you interested in getting a prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D)? These are all important questions to ask as you decide on your Medicare plan for the upcoming year.
If you have any questions regarding your Annual Notice of Change, Evidence of Coverage, or if you should switch to a new Medicare plan, our Medicare professionals are here to help! Get your questions answered by attending a free Medicare workshop or meet one-on-one with one of our helpful Medicare agents!