Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your Medicare.
You can do this between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. This applies to all parts of Medicare. Learn about your options and how to make the best choice. Read on for important information.
Make changes to Medicare plans during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.
Every year, during this time Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare coverage. The Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, is a great time to review your coverage and choose a new plan. However, you should remember that if you don't make changes during
this period, you may not be able to make changes until the next year. There are
exceptions to this rule. These events are called special enrollment periods
when you have a change in circumstances, such as losing your employer coverage,
gaining or losing Medicaid, or specific events that affect the public.
Before the deadline, as a Medicare beneficiary you should carefully review your current coverage to determine if you're still getting the best benefits. If you’re not, you should consider switching to another Medicare option. You can also switch to a Medicare Supplement to help pay for what Original Medicare doesn't cover. Private insurance carriers sell Medicare Supplement plans and Part D Prescription Drug plans. These changes will take
effect on Jan. 1. The Annual Enrollment Period is different from the Initial
Enrollment Period, or IEP, which occurs when people turn 65 or first become
eligible for Medicare.
New changes to Medicare plans for the following year during this time might make it
more challenging to determine which plan is right for you. However, in most
cases, you can make changes without losing your coverage. The best time to make
changes to your Medicare plan is the first month of AEP.
Medicare Part A, B and D
You must have Part A and Part B to qualify for a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement Plan. Medicare Advantage plans include Part A, B and often D in one
comprehensive plan. One important thing to understand about Medicare Advantage
plans is that they often come with networks. You might have to pay more if you
go outside this network. There are some low-cost PPO plans that are Medicare
Advantage plans, that allow you to see any doctor that accepts Medicare.
Making a good choice
It would be best if you enrolled in a plan that suits your needs because you could
end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars more by making a wrong
choice. But, again, the insurance carriers are not being malicious or taking
advantage; it's just how the plans are set up, and making the wrong choice
could be expensive.
Late Enrollment Penalty
Suppose you didn't sign up for Part B or Part D when you initially became eligible. In
that case, you might be subject to a late enrollment penalty. If you missed
your initial enrollment for Part B you have to sign up in Jan.
thru Mar. of the following year, and your coverage would start at the
beginning of the next month. If you don't qualify for Part A, you can purchase
it and get the coverage you need.
If you didn’t sign up for Part B or Part D, when you initially become eligible, you
might be subject to a late enrollment penalty. If you missed that initial
enrollment for Part B, then you have to sign up in Jan. thru March of the
following year, and your coverage would start at the beginning of the next
month starting in 2023. If you don’t qualify for Part A, you can purchase it
and get the coverage that you need.
Making changes during AEP is easy
Changing Medicare plans during the Annual Enrollment Period is a quick and easy way to modify your coverage. You must complete the application process before the Dec. 7 deadline. Then, you can change your plan from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage and vice versa.
Agents are closely regulated by Medicare and are required to keep your best interest
in mind. So, you might want to consult with one. There are also help lines
available through Medicare so don’t be discouraged. I hope this article is of
help to you and feel free to reach out to me at 323-289-6204.
Written by Willie Ware
If you reach out to the above number or email address, you will be directed to a
licensed insurance agent. We do not cover all plans in your area. To find out
about all plans contact Medicare at 1-800-Medicare or medicare.gov