It’s that time of year again! Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), sometimes referred to as Medicare Fall Open Enrollment, runs from October 15 through December 7, so now is the time to review your Medicare plan and decide if it’s still working for you, or if it’s time to make a change. It’s very important to be prepared for the AEP, and one of the best ways to be prepared is to go over your plan and any changes for next year, as well as your medical expenses and needs, right now. Once you’ve done this, make sure you review the following changes you can make during the AEP, and when those changes will take effect.
Why You Might Want To Change Plans
After you enroll in Medicare, you might find that your needs change: maybe you are looking to save more money, or to get more coverage for a new health condition. Not only that, but your Medicare plan itself might change: insurers that provide Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D prescription drug plans will sometimes make changes to your plans for the upcoming year that aren’t right for you and your situation. They can make changes to:
- The price of your plan
- You coverage
- The providers and pharmacies in your network
You will get an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from your provider before the AEP begins so you can review it for any changes to your plans.
Changes You Can Make During Annual Enrollment Period
During the period from October 15 to December 7, you can:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare, as well as enroll in Part D or a Medicare Supplement Plan alongside Original Medicare
- Switch your current Medicare Advantage Plan to a different one
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes drug coverage to one that does not
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that does not include drug coverage to one that does
- Join, switch, or drop a Part D prescription drug plan
After you have reviewed any changes to your current plan, and have made the decision to change plans, note that your new plan will not go into effect until January 1.
It is also important to note that if you decide to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan after you switch back to or enroll in Original Medicare from a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will have to answer some health questions and pass medical underwriting to be approved for a plan. The only exception to this is if you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you turned 65 and decided to switch to Original Medicare within the first 12 months of having your plan.
If you are looking to enroll in Medicare, purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan, or you just want to weigh your options before the AEP is over, EZ can help. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the country, and can compare all available plans in your area, at no cost to you. We will go over your medical and financial needs, and help you find a Medicare Supplement Plan that checks all of the boxes. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.