Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) has begun, and it will be over before you know it: it ends on December 15. This time period is your chance to enroll in or make changes to your Medicare plan, including your Part D prescription drug plan, for next year. It’s very important that you’re prepared and know all of your options, and what to do and not do, so you are ready for the year to come. Because if you make a mistake now, it could cost you for the rest of the coming year until the next AEP comes around again.
To help make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ve laid out below all of the essential do’s and don’ts of the Medicare AEP.
Medicare AEP Do’s
- Keep an eye out for any upcoming changes to your plan. Always check your annual notice of change letter that will have come in the mail sometime around September. This letter will have information about your plan for the coming year, like prices, network changes, changes to your drug formulary, and how much your plan will cost you out-of-pocket. Reading this letter carefully will help you determine if your current plan will still be right for you next year, or if it’s time to make a change.
- Make a list of all the prescription medications that you take and their dosages. When trying to pick a plan for next year, you will need to make sure that the plan will cover your current prescriptions. Check all available Medicare plans to make sure that the formulary will include your medication and dosages that you’re prescribed. If your current plan has changed in a way that will affect your medications, it’s time to search for a plan that does cover what you need. In addition, consider looking into the generic form of your medications to save a little more money.
Medicare AEP Don’ts
- Don’t assume that you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan. Many new beneficiaries think that the AEP will be a great time for them to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan with their original Medicare coverage. However, the only way to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan is if you currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan and you are switching back to Original Medicare. It’s important to note, though, that you can technically enroll in a Medicare Supplement Plan at any time during the year, but you will have to answer some medical questions in order to qualify.
- Don’t wait until next year’s AEP. The Annual Enrollment Period is the time for you to make any changes for next year. If you decide to ignore it, or hold off on checking and switching plans, you will be forced to wait until next year’s AEP in October to make any changes. Not only will you lose out on saving by doing this, but you will also risk the possibility of paying more, or of dealing with network changes you did not expect, such as a certain doctor not being covered any longer.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is a very important time when you can look for a plan that better suits your needs, and save some money. The AEP is quickly coming to an end, so now is the time to think about your budget, review your out-of-pocket costs, and find ways you can cut down on expenses, such as by purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan.
If you need help comparing plans, EZ can help – we will provide you with an agent who will compare plans in your area for free. No obligation. 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.