There are different enrollment periods for Medicare that allow you to enroll for the first time, but there are also enrollment periods that allow you to make changes to your current Medicare coverage. This period is known as the Annual Enrollment Period. The Annual Enrollment Period starts on October 7 and ends on December 15 each year.
During the Annual Enrollment Period, you can enroll, change, or even drop your Medicare coverage. Depending on the type of Medicare plan you’re enrolled in will determine the types of changes you can make. For example, if you have Original Medicare, you can use this period to join a Medicare Advantage plan or add on a Part D prescription drug plan.
To prepare for this enrollment period, it is important to know the right steps to take and the wrong decisions to avoid. Let’s go over those.
Prepare for Possible Plan Changes
If you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D, you will receive an Annual Notice of Change from your provider each September. You should pay attention to this document as it contains details about any changes your provider makes to your Part C or Part D plan.
These changes will come into effect in the forthcoming year. The changes could include the removal of certain providers from the plan network, or the removal of certain drugs from the formulary under Medicare Part D. To make sure you understand the changes happening to your plan, carefully review the Annual Notice of Change.
Don’t Assume You Can Enroll in Medigap
Some Medicare beneficiaries may view the AEP as a time to enroll in a Medigap plan, but this isn’t exactly how it works. The AEP technically only pertains to Part C and Part D, which are separate plans from Medigap.
If you’re going to enroll in Medigap, we recommend that you do so during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins as soon as you have Original Medicare coverage and are 65. This period will last for six months.
Review Your Benefits
Since your Part C or Part D plan will change yearly, ensure you review your benefits during the Annual Enrollment Period. Check if your preferred providers are still in the network or they have been removed. Also, if you have a Part D plan, make sure your plan still covers the drugs you need. Look out for restrictions or modifications to your current plan and contact your insurer if there are any questions.
Don’t Make Sudden Changes without Research
Before you make any change to your Medicare plan, always do enough research about your current plan and other available plans! To ensure you get as much accurate information as possible about the different Medicare plans available, you can get in contact with an experienced agent from El-Mag Insurance. We know all the ins and outs of Medicare and will make sure you find a plan that meets all of your coverage and budget needs.
For more information and to get a free quote, call us today!