What is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

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What is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

Medicare accommodates so many people every year. In fact, over 62 million people have enrolled in Medicare so they can receive the healthcare coverage they need. For Medicare to maintain acceptable standards of efficiency, it needs to create periods during which Medicare members can review their current coverage and determine if it still works for them, or if they should enroll in a new plan. One of these windows is the Annual Enrollment Period.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, from October 15 through December 7, is one of the periods that gives people the opportunity to either join their preferred Medicare plan or switch to another one.

Changes During AEP

There are several changes that can be made during this period that can be extremely beneficial to any Medicare member. These changes can include:

  • Switching from one insurer to another one: Beneficiaries may decide to change their insurer if it means less costs to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Switching from one plan to another: For example, if you’re currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you can use the AEP to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage: During this window, it is possible to join a Medicare Advantage plan after being enrolled in Original Medicare.  
  • Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare: Enrollees can drop their Medicare Advantage plan and stay with Original Medicare. 
  • Sign up for or leave a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan. Members can choose to add on prescription drug coverage by enrolling in a Part D plan. They can also switch Part D plans, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage as an added benefit.

When to Make Changes During AEP

If you are looking to take advantage of this window, then make sure you request these changes during the specified time of the enrollment period. If your request for enrollment is not received on or before December 7, you will be risking your chances of getting approval.

Keep in mind that you do not have to switch from your current plan to a new one unless that’s what you want. However, any changes you do make will take effect on January 1 of the following year. Need more information on the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period? Give us a call today! We’re here to help you make the most of your Medicare coverage.

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